Researchers claim students learn less reading on-line compared to printed text

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jumbodog, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards Member

    Uh hu. Of course they published this announcement online. By their own rational, you will be dumber for having read it.
  3. phdorbust

    phdorbust New Member

    The research I have done with biz students tends to support this as well. Most of what I have done is survey research...students will tell you the book format doesn't matter, but at the end of the day almost everyone prefers print. Now that doesn't necessarily mean you learn less due to the e-version but it is certainly the perception. There is something about e-readers and PDF that erode motivation, time on task, etc. Even current college students will choose text if given a choice. Perhaps it's hard to take notes? Who knows. Haven't nailed that down yet but I'm sure someone has.
  4. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I think my IQ decreased just a bit after reading this post online.
  5. siersema

    siersema Member

    We just started using e-texts at my school. The students hate it. The reader is web based, the drm doesn't allow for multiple books opened at once (horrible for courses with a normal text and lab text), and if you only have one monitor it makes writing in another app that much more of a pain. If it was just a PDF perhaps they would be ok.
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    All of my students absolutely hated it when we switched over to e-texts. They said it was harder for them to concentrate. To say that reading online makes us dumber is an oversimplification of the research. I think the article makes it very clear that people have a harder time retaining information that is received from online reading. That is not the same as "online reading is making people dumber" or "online reading is decreasing our IQs."
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member


    Agreed. For casual reading (or pleasure reading), a regular book is much easier read, but conversely, for academic reading or technical reading, an ebook is much better because it has a search engine to find specific information immediately. Very few people read the entire etext. They just get the specific information they need and then move on.
  8. MichaelGates

    MichaelGates Member

    I love to read using an ebook ereader and some times a tablet.. I use the ebook ereader more than paper now. The main problems with ebook ereaders is that you have to find one that is comfortable to hold in the hand, has a good screen that you can see, and then get well formatted ebooks for it.

    I often find ebooks that are poorly formatted and that makes it a struggle to read. I often reformat them, or convert them into a different format such as pdf, epub or mobi, in order to have them appear best on screen. Having the right software to convert ebooks is very important and can then allow the changes to be made quickly.

    When my hands were giving me medical trouble, I researched and found the lightest ebook reader on the market, so I could have one to hold comfortable for long periods of time. I actually have over a dozen ereaders and tablets now. Some earmarked for certain projects or college classes and some for casual reading. I bought many used, with some damaged and fixed them cheap.

    A good screen also helps. I have some ereaders that have a backlights for indoors and some that don't for outdoors. Some have color screens and some are black & white. I get ereaders that allow the fonts to be changed easily for better viewing. Seeing the text well is important, but many just struggle through the text with getting things set up for easy reading?

    I still get some paper books and sometimes I get both ebook and paper. The electronic version is really good when I need to do searches in the text. It is all about knowing what works best for you. I now have hundreds of book read on my various ebook readers and tablets.
  9. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    FWIW, I hate ebooks/etexts. Journals of course you pretty much have to read online, however, as a student I printed out all that were required. Hell, I just thought it was because I was old. My kids don't even know what paper is.
  10. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Isn't it impractical to print out journals while scanning through zillions of them to look for information? The nice thing about scanning online journals is that if there is no information in one, then the next read is just a click away.
  11. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Some of my classmates print out the journal articles we are assigned to read. Their ages range from late 20s to 50s. I'm always concerned about wasting ink and paper. Even though I now have access to print out things in the office, I still can't bring myself to use so much paper. I do, however, prefer having printed books. Don't the latest Kindles have paper white?

    I don't know why it's so hard to believe that people might have more trouble retaining information read online. We already know that exposure to blue light from electronic devices can make it difficult for people to fall asleep.
  12. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I love etextbooks. Great for searching content, easy highlighting, etc. The only issue I've had to date is when the prof references the print page numbers (doesn't happen too often to be an issue). My school often makes the etextbooks available on their ebook app (which includes the print page number) but not always, in which case I invariably find the ebook on Amazon and use the Kindle app which is far superior but does NOT include the print page numbers. The printed textbooks take up space and kill more trees. I'm 41 by the way, not a young buck.
  13. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    read all the words lol j/k :)
    I only printed out the required articles. Very important for me to have them at arms reach when doing assignments.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2014
  14. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    There are NUMEROUS topics in which roughly >90% of my knowledge was learned by reading online..... it feels different for school though. I can't put my finger on why.

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