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“The screen shows movement – movement is interesting!” exploring effects of multimedia stories on preschool children’s story comprehension and enjoyment

Hui-Yun Sung (Graduate Institute of Library and Information Science, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City, Taiwan)
Ssu-Han Chen (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Ming Chi University of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Using multimedia and print storybooks, the purpose of this paper is to compare preschool children’s reading engagement with and without adult support.

Design/methodology/approach

A within-subject design is used to explore the effects of multimedia stories in supporting preschool children’s story comprehension and reading enjoyment. A total of 24 children aged five to six years old from a local preschool in Taiwan participated in the experiments.

Findings

A statistical analysis revealed the (non)differences in story comprehension between multimedia and print storybooks, with and without adult support. A content analysis revealed several important themes affecting children’s reading enjoyment. These included multimedia elements (particularly motion and sound effects), haptic perception and the pause function.

Research limitations/implications

Native Chinese speaking children participated in one-to-one sessions in Taiwan. To ascertain the generalizability of the findings presented in this study, further research is encouraged in other cultural contexts and settings.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into how multimedia and interactive features affect and enhance children’s enjoyment. Recommendations are made to assist library professionals to incorporate digital media into children’s programs.

Originality/value

Children’s reading motivation and engagement are often linked with improved reading attainments. This study elicited a range of perspectives and themes relating to what the children themselves felt influenced their enjoyment when reading print or multimedia storybooks. Findings were analyzed in a theoretical framework of facets of engagement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Professor Paul Sturges, Dr Pei-Yu Lin and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive advice on this paper. Thanks also extend to all teachers and children for their participation in this study, Grimm Press for providing TellyBearTM for use in the experiments, and Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology for funding this study (MOST 105-2410-H-005-025, NT$580,500).

Citation

Sung, H.-Y. and Chen, S.-H. (2019), "“The screen shows movement – movement is interesting!” exploring effects of multimedia stories on preschool children’s story comprehension and enjoyment", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 155-169. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-04-2018-0057

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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