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Jun 23, 2016 07:46 AM EDT

Reading on Screen Obstructs Learning, Studies Suggests

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Studies suggests that reading on screen obstruct the ability of students to take in the learnings from what they study.

Even though the evidence is hugely anecdotal and the whole research is not yet conclusive, many professors suggests that reading online is one of the reasons why students cannot take in the learnings from the materials that they are studying, The Chronicle For Higher Education reported.

A study in 2014 says that 63 per cent of college students are recorded to have been using e-textbooks. Also, 27 per cent of the students plans to use e- textbooks in the near future. This is due to the pervasiveness of computers, tablets and other digital devices. The use of electronic devices is popular in schools ranging from elementary to higher education. However, changing features and advances in technologies puts a limitation to researchers in thoroughly understanding the effects of reading in digital screens on recall and comprehension on students. Moreover, the increased understanding of influence of electronic devices will add information to educators about the effects of computer and gadgets using test scores and performance, EduCause reported.

Researchers noticed a significant change in behavior of readers as they adopt new habits while using digital devices. One example is the findings of a researcher, Ziming Liu. They study suggests that reading on digital devices makes the readers engage in shortcuts such as browsing keywords only and looking for selectivity instead of going through the whole reading material. These habits are raising concerns with regards to the implications for learning.

University students in the United States, Japan, and Germany were sampled and 90 per cent of them prefers hard copy or printed materials. The researcher, Naomi Baron, said that reading on digital screens adds distractions to students. Of the sampled students in Germany and United States, 92 per cent says that it is easier to concentrate on reading while using hard copy while 98 per cent says so in Germany. 

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