This mixed methodology study examines how students interact (and transact) with texts across modalities as evidenced by comprehension performance. In addition, it examines their perceptions of the texts and reading processes across each modality. The first phase of this study included a controlled experiment of 90 high school students. Using a passage from their Earth Science textbook, students were asked to read the text off the screen, use the assigned affordance (print only, print and audio, or print and video), and complete both comprehension and self-efficacy items. Analysis of this data showed that there were no statistically significant differences across the three treatments for either the comprehension or self-efficacy measures. The second phase of the study included a guided interview with 27 students. Employing the interpretive analysis of Grounded Theory, these interviews showed that students who successfully navigated these modalities were able to both perceive the affordances and strategically utilize them. This study holds implications for the notion of what an affordance is, how teachers use online digital textbooks, and how publishing companies design and format digital versions of their texts.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2011. Major:Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor:Dr. David O’Brien. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 157 pages, appendices A-F.
Voss, Scott M..
The affordances of multimodal texts and their impact on the reading process..
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