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Welcome. Do students study and learn differently using e-Readers? Anne Campbell, George Callaghan, David McGarvie, Michelle Hynd The Open University in.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome. Do students study and learn differently using e-Readers? Anne Campbell, George Callaghan, David McGarvie, Michelle Hynd The Open University in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome

2 Do students study and learn differently using e-Readers? Anne Campbell, George Callaghan, David McGarvie, Michelle Hynd The Open University in Scotland

3 Research questions How do students study and learn using e-Readers? Is it possible to use e-Readers for deep reading and active learning? Do e-Readers affect student study patterns? Can e-Readers be useful devices for tutors supporting learning?

4 Background Most students are now using technology for study and preparation (Massis, 2010) Growing interest in mobile learning in HE 50% of OU postgrads use a tablet or e-Reader & most use it for studying (Sharples & Cross, 2012) Huge growth in use of e-Readers in UK population and worldwide (particularly Amazons Kindle) Likely that students will make increasing use of e- Readers in the future especially as young people prefer to read on-screen (National Literacy Trust, 2013)

5 Educational setting The Open University is the biggest university in the UK, and a world leader in flexible distance learning More than 250,000 part-time students: 210,000 in UK; 16,000 in Scotland, based all over – urban, rural, remote, small towns Ages from school-leavers to retired (median age 32) with busy & active lives Photo: Andy Hendry Distance learning: distance teaching Personal tutor as part of a small group Institutional drive to provision of electronic material including e-texts, for use on mobile devices

6 Who are our students? 5 Social Science students studying You and Your Money: Personal Finance in Context 15 Science students studying Health Sciences: A Case Study Approach 14 are female; 6 are male Age range 17 – 72; median 37 13 live in rural areas or small towns, some remote or very remote; 7 live in urban areas Competent users of technology Had not used e-Readers prior to this study Photo: near Aberfeldy, Wikipedia commons

7 Methodology Mixed methods –Diary study including practical and reflective logs, from late February to early June 2013 (in progress) –Semi-structured interviews by telephone after diary study end (still to come) –Small group interview with the two Science tutors part way through study (completed) –Focus group meeting with all tutors at end of study (still to come) –Data analysis using grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967)

8 Student Usage 16 students returned study diaries from late Feb – late March Practical log: date used, length of usage, location of usage, type of reading, whether & how notes/highlights made Reflective log: reflection on concentrating, learning, remembering, how affects study patterns 116 student, 26 tutor practical logs collected in this period Students used Kindles at home (67 logs) and away from home (53 logs) Most common student usage: concentrated reading over period of about 1 hour

9 Type of reading & active learning markers Type of Reading Took notes (in any format) Took notes using Kindle Highlighted (using Kindle) Concentrated (77 logs) 50 (64.93%)5 (6.49%)12 (15.58%) Skim (27 logs) 6 (22.22%)2 (7.40%)6 (22.22%) Both (10 logs) 8 (80%)1 (10%)4 (40%) Didnt indicate (2 logs) 1 (50%)0 (0%)

10 Concentrated reading Many students find it easy to use Kindle for concentrated reading –I am finding it easier to concentrate and take in the information using the kindle... (D4) –I tend to lose concentration and start reading random pages of a text book (but) with the kindle I am much more disciplined and know to stop when my concentration is waning. (S14)

11 Active learning But most students rejected Kindle when consolidating learning or writing an assignment –It is not hard to concentrate on the Kindle. Indeed, one gets the impression of reading faster, - perhaps because the pages are smaller. I think… it is harder to learn and remember than from printed text, because each page is less distinctive, - they all look similar. (S1) –The kindle is easy enough to learn from. However, I prefer using printed text for concentrated learning. (S7)

12 Note-taking & highlighting I dont like using the kindle for highlighting parts of text as I feel it is not as effective as the traditional coloured highlighter on paper. (S7) I did notice that when I read the course text book, I tend to make notes as I go but when I use the kindle, I just read. (D2) Writing text notes is cumbersome and I have given up, preferring to make notes on paper before I forget what I am putting. (S3)

13 Navigation issues I have not used the kindle this week as I have been attempting to do my TMA (Tutor marked assignment) and find it better to sit with the course book and handwritten notes whilst working on it. The small screen was a disadvantage this week as I could not skim read over the page to find the information I was looking for. (D2) If I need to know something now, if Ive got a student email or a student on the end of the phone and I want to find out, I reach for the textbook, I dont reach for the Kindle. Because I know I can find it in the textbook, and then Ill be able to flick through and find page whatever, diagram whatever, and talk it through with the student. (Science tutor)

14 Difficulties with diagrams & tables Table 2.9 was very difficult to understand on the kindle, [if] I had not referred to the book itself it would not have made any real sense. (D6) …in the pages I was studying this week there were lots of pictures and diagrams, and I was frustrated that even with enlarging them I still could not see them adequately… I took out the text book to study these particular pages (S3)

15 Advantages: size matters! Small size, weight, portability is a real advantage Students studying in places and at times they could not study before: –the top of mountains –in doctors' waiting rooms –at sick children's bedsides –on ferries –on buses –at bus stops –in bed

16 Flexible, portable It seems very light and portable, does not need an internet connection, and is as easily held as a book would be. (D5) Flexibility and portability remains key strength – taken away with me on hols and afforded opportunity to read freely. (S16) So rather than having a big book, you know, Ive got a very small computer desk, Ive just got a small Kindle. And Ive got it on the book that were looking at. (Science tutor, talking about using the Kindle when running an online tutorial)

17 Snatching study time It is perfect for taking in your handbag and snatching a few minutes here and there. (S6) I can study more because of the kindle. You are able to snatch extra time i.e. when commuting, out for a walk at lunch and because it fits in your handbag, you can always carry it about just in case. (D2)

18 Surreptitious study I would have been uncomfortable reading a text book at the hairdressers however the kindle is inconspicuous and nobody questions it. (S3) …nobody in public has any idea of the subject matter you are reading (unlike a book which has a cover and a title)…therefore you can concentrate safely in the knowledge that no-one beside or close to you is aware of the content. (Social science tutor)

19 Tentative conclusions -1 Seems that Kindle can be used to read in a deep and concentrated way But for consolidation of learning, need to use active learning techniques, not well supported by Kindle –Creation of cognitive maps, using spatial and kinaesthetic clues –Highlighting texts, bookmarking and making marginal notes

20 Tentative conclusions -2 Huge advantage of portability, anonymity – study materials accessed and read more frequently than possible with printed texts No differences so far in how Science and Social Science students approach learning using the Kindle Advantage in having both printed and portable texts for students, particularly for part-time distance learners, with busy lives, who want to study away from home For distance tutors, portability is the main advantage, to take travelling, or to their main place of work

21 Acknowledgements Students & tutors involved in the project The OU Anywhere team for expediting module material conversion Funded by –Higher Education Academy Teaching Development Grant –QAA Enhancement Themes project funding –The Open University

22 Anne Campbell Learning Development Team The Open University in Scotland 10 Drumsheugh Gardens Edinburgh EH3 7QJ


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