Print vs. Digital Reading and Annotation Study

Dr. Lauren Zucker is currently collaborating with Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner on a multi-year research study that examines high school students’ print and digital reading and annotation preferences and practices. The study included a year-long intervention designed to teach students digital annotation strategies. The researchers collected and analyzed classroom artifacts, survey, and interview data.

The researchers began the study by giving students a survey to learn more about their print and digital reading and annotation preferences. Click the following link for an abridged version of the “Motivation and Preferences Inventory” that can be adapted for classroom use.

Motivation and Preferences Inventory

Adolescents’ Out-of-School Digital Reading Practices

The following content is the digital component of Dr. Lauren Zucker’s dissertation, “Adolescents’ Out-of-School Digital Reading Practices.” This website contains an overview of the research study, as well as examples of teens’ digital reading as captured through screen recordings.

Overview of the Research Study

To learn more about adolescents’ digital reading, I asked eight high school students to video record themselves using their own computers outside of class time. The directions were for students to “use the computer as you normally would.” Each student sent me between three and five, fifteen-minute video recordings that captured their computer screens and their faces on a webcam as they used the computer. Then, I interviewed each student, showing them clips from their own video recordings, and asking them to recall their thinking as they read online. I concluded that the teens in my study employed a range of digital reading practices and were often highly purposeful about their choices as they read online.

Click here for descriptive data about all of the tasks that readers engaged in throughout the study, including a breakdown of school vs. leisure tasks, and topics within those categories.

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Screen Recordings of Teens’ Digital Reading

To learn about the participants in the study and see video clips of their digital reading, click here. I invite fellow educators and researchers to view the recordings and add their interpretations using the comments feature beneath each video. It is my hope that this data will spark conversation and raise new questions about adolescents’ digital reading practices.

Connected Reading

I analyzed the data using the connected reading model (pictured below), a framework for understanding print and digital reading comprehension developed by Turner and Hicks (2015). In the connected reading model, a reader encounters a text, either through receiving it from other readers, or by seeking it out more actively through surfing, stumbling and searching. After an encounter, the reader then engages with and evaluates the text recursively, deciding whether to read, share, or discard it.

Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World by Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks © 2015 by the National Council of Teachers of English. This figure may be printed, reproduced, and disseminated (with attribution) without permission from NCTE.