READING IN PRINT AND DIGITALLY: PROFILING AND INTERVENING IN UNDERGRADUATES’ MULTIMODAL TEXT PROCESSING, COMPREHENSION, AND CALIBRATION
Singer Trakhman, Lauren Melissa
Alexander, Patricia A
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As a consequence of today’s rapid-paced society and ever-changing technologies, students are frequently called upon to process texts in print and digitally. Further, multimodal texts are standard in textbooks and foundational to learning. Nonetheless, little is understood about the effects of reading multimodal texts in print or digitally. In Study I, the students read weather and soil passages in print and digitally. These readings were taken from an introductory geology textbook that incorporated various graphic displays. While reading, novel data-gathering measures and procedures were used to capture real-time behaviors. As students read in print, their behaviors were recorded by a GoPro@ camera and tracked by the movement of a pen. When reading digitally, students’ actions were recorded by Camtasia@ Screen Capture software and by the movement of the screen cursor used to indicate their position in the text. After reading, students answered comprehension questions that differ in specificity (i.e., main idea to key concepts) that cover content from three sources: text only; visual only; and, both text and visual. Finally, after reading in each medium, undergraduates rated their performance on the comprehension measure on a scale of 0-100 for each passage. The accuracy of these ratings formed the basis of the calibration score. The processing data were analyzed using Latent Class Analysis. In Study II, an intervention aimed at improving students’ comprehension and calibration when reading digitally were introduced to participants from Study I who returned to the lab about two weeks later. Next, the undergraduates repeated the procedure for digital reading outlined in Study I with a passage on volcanoes. In Study I, students performed better when reading in print and spent more time with the text but were better calibrated when reading digitally. Three clusters were identified for the print data, and three clusters were identified for the digital data. Cluster movement across mediums suggests that some participants treat digital texts differently than when reading in print. After the intervention in Study II, comprehension scores and duration increased but calibration accuracy scores worsened. The LCA revealed three clusters, each showing improvement in processing behaviors, comprehension, or reading duration.