Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)
Reading (Middle school); Electronic book readers; Education--Data processing;
Research is emerging to understand how technology affects student attitudes towards reading. Research on the influence of e-books on struggling adolescent readers, however, is limited. The purpose of this combined qualitative and quantitative research study was to examine how e-readers influence struggling readers’ attitudes toward reading as well as their perceptions of their reading abilities. Additionally, the study aimed to explore the extent to which struggling readers utilize e-reader features to support their comprehension. Finally, research was gathered to determine whether students preferred e-readers over a print format. Seventeen seventh, eighth, and ninth graders from two reading intervention classrooms participated in this study . Students were enrolled in the course if they scored below the 25th percentile on their Iowa Assessments for two or more consecutive years. Eight girls and nine boys participated. During class students read a high-interest fiction novel chosen by their teacher for approximately 15-20 minutes a day on a Kindle e-reader and logged their daily interactions with the the e-readers. Data was gathered through pre and post surveys, post-reading focus group discussions, student logs, and participant observer notes. The Pre and Post Reading Attitude Surveys indicate that e-readers have little to no influence on students’ attitude toward reading, nor is there enough evidence to suggest that e-readers make students feel like better readers. The Post-Reading E-reader Survey, focus group responses, and observations, however, revealed that all of the participants used tools available on the ereaders to support their reading, and over half preferred using e-readers over traditional print formats. Only one of the seventeen participants did not think e-readers were useful tools for supporting comprehension. Focus group results indicated that students may be more motivated to read on e-readers due to e-reader features allowing interaction with the text. Classroom teacher feedback, in addition to the previously noted student data, also showed that students were more engaged during classroom discussions because of the e-readers. According to the teacher, students were more active and engaged readers, highlighting passages, recording ideas, and looking up words when using e-readers.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Division of School Library Studies
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Karla Steege Krueger
1 PDF file (59 pages)
©2016 Abigail L. Hendrickson
Hendrickson, Abigail L., "E-readers and struggling middle school readers" (2016). Graduate Research Papers. 101.