Independent and digital reading among undergraduates: the case of the University of Mauritius

Caroline Rabaud (University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius)
Naushad Mamode Khan (University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius)
Smita Rampat (Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 2 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Undeniably, the growing influence of technology has had a significant impact on the reading process of undergraduate students and it is thus of priority interest now to understand the factors influencing independent and digital reading. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 231 questionnaires were administered among undergraduates at the University of Mauritius. A factor analysis was carried out and it was revealed that the attitude toward reading was mainly influenced by six aspects termed “Entertaining and Important,” “Lack of Interest,” “Convenience of Digital Reading,” “Utilitarian Purposes,” “Difficult Access to Reading Materials” and the “Compulsory Aspect.” This paper focuses also on determinants which could influence the behavior of undergraduates toward independent reading. In this sense, a binary logistic regression was performed.

Findings

Factors such as gender, the motivation to read and the time spent reading for academic purposes were found to be significant predictors. Also, given the impact of technology on the lifestyle, it was important to determine whether the respondents had adopted digital reading over printed reading by taking into consideration their preferred reading format. This query was taken care by a multinomial regression analysis where gender, faculty belonging and internet connection on mobile were found to influence the preferred method of reading by undergraduates.

Originality/value

The objectives are to analyze the reading habits and attitude of the undergraduates toward reading, evaluate factors which influence a student to engage in independent reading, determine factors that are likely to encourage students to prefer digital reading given the innovation in the e-reading field and to explore a possible relationship between independent reading and digital reading.

Keywords

Citation

Rabaud, C., Mamode Khan, N. and Rampat, S. (2018), "Independent and digital reading among undergraduates: the case of the University of Mauritius", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 296-310. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-09-2017-0117

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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