One of the main distinctions between paper-based and digital reading is the presence of digital features. The latter may impair digital reading comprehension given that they promote rapid processing of information at the expense of accuracy (Delgado et al., 2018; Higgins et al., 2005; Takacs et al., 2015). The participants in this online study include ~100 Canadian children in Grades 3-5. Using a within-participants design, children will read standardized passages from the Gates- MacGinitie Reading Tests and answer multiple-choice comprehension questions. The stories include the presence of key digital features such as: scrolling, clickable hyperlinks (participant clicks on a target word which opens a new page with the word’s definition), hovering hyperlinks (definition is activated when the participant hovers over the target word), and a combination condition (scrolling and hyperlinks). Data collection is currently underway. Data will be analysed with a repeated measures one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post-hoc tests. To date, twenty children have completed the study. Preliminary findings revealed that the presence of digital features (i.e., combination condition) increases children’s cognitive load and impedes comprehension scores relative to the linear digital condition (i.e., no digital features).The results from this study will offer new insights as to how digital features impact children’s reading comprehension in a generation that is increasingly learning to read in a digital environment.
Monday, June 20, 2022
7:05 PDT, 8:05 MDT, 11:05 ADT,