What are the effects of eReaders vs. print text on struggling eighth grade readers in the language arts classroom?
The purpose of this four-week study was to determine if the use of eReaders vs. traditional print novels in the eighth grade classroom would increase the comprehension scores, engagement, and comprehension strategy usage of struggling readers in the language arts classroom. The participants in this study consisted of twelve eighth grade students who performed at least two grade levels below on the STAR Comprehension Test. In addition to performing poorly, these students were also reluctant readers. Based on the assessments and classroom observations, the researcher attempted using eReaders to increase engagement, comprehension, and strategy usage. The researcher collected data on engagement before and during the study and had the students in the control and experimental groups work on comprehension strategies during the four-week period. Students took a STAR test at the end of the four weeks to measure comprehension gains. The results indicated significant gains in positive engagement and in comprehension strategies (words looked up and connections made) for the eReader group, while students in the print group were approaching significance in comprehension. In conclusion, the research showed that both conditions boasted positive results in various aspects of the study. While eReaders served as a tool to engage students positively during reading and to assist in the task of note taking, it did not necessarily contribute to the increase in comprehension gains.