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Learning to read online: the effect of instruction on e-textbook use

Amy Ragan (American International School of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)
Jenna Kammer (School of Professional Education and Leadership, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)
Charlene Atkins (School of Teaching and Learning, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)
Rene Burress (School of Professional Education and Leadership, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 18 February 2019

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of library instruction on the use of e-textbook features in a seventh-grade science class in Budapest, Hungary. Using the theory of value-expectancy, library instruction was designed to show students how the e-textbook features would improve their study habits.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a time-series, within-subject design, the researchers examined the students’ use of e-textbooks before receiving library instruction, and then again after receiving library instruction. Data were collected from student survey responses, focus group interviews, and digital library usage. A repeated-measures t-test was used to compare data collected prior to and following the instructional sessions.

Findings

The results indicate that the use of e-textbook features (glossary, audio, quizzes, notes, highlighter, and video) increased after library instruction. While the use of e-textbook features increased, this did not translate to other types of e-books: the use of the digital library did not increase.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has implications for research on the use of e-textbooks in academic settings. Baseline findings support the existing literature that shows that students do not use all of the features of an e-textbook. The research in this study adds that direct instruction on those features will increase use.

Practical implications

Librarians and teachers may want to consider direct instruction on e-textbooks. While it may not increase digital library usage, it may benefit the student learning experience.

Originality/value

This study builds on the work related to the student experience of using e-textbook. It highlights the value of library instruction in improving the student experience and use of e-textbooks.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to give a special thanks to Dr Jenny Robins, retired Professor from the University of Central Missouri, for her support while working on this study.

Citation

Ragan, A., Kammer, J., Atkins, C. and Burress, R. (2019), "Learning to read online: the effect of instruction on e-textbook use", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 289-307. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-01-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited