E-textbooks have become more popular with college students, but there are concerns that reading is not as effective from screens as paper. In addition, students may not take advantage of tools afforded by e-textbooks. The purpose of this study was to determine if encouraging students to read from paper or modeling e-textbook tools would be better for students in terms of reading and using their textbooks. Two instructors randomly assigned students (N = 144) to view a video and answer an essay question about either the benefits of reading from paper, how to use etextbook tools, or general information about open educational resources (control). Findings indicated that students told about the benefits of reading from paper were not more likely to read the textbook from paper. Students also generally used both paper and e-textbooks in a similar manner, except students in the e-textbook tools condition reported more notetaking while reading than students in the paper condition. Finally, student medium preference for studying did not change based on condition. Findings from this study provide guidance for how instructors should advise students on reading their course textbooks.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in College Teaching on June 29, 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/87567555.2020.1786665
Virginia Clinton-Lisell, Alison E. Kelly, and Travis D. Clark. "Modeling E-Textbook Tools or Encouraging Reading from Paper: What are the Effects on Medium Choice and Textbook Use?" (2020). Education, Health & Behavior Studies Faculty Publications. 59.