The Impact of Ebooks on the Reading Motivation and Reading Skills of Children and Young People
- The average reading progress made over the project period was 8 months. Boys made significantly greater progress over the course of the study than girls, with boys’ reading levels increasing by an average of 8.4 months compared with girls who made an average gain of 7.2 months.
- Pupils who used RM to read more, made more progress, with pupils in the high usage group making an average of 8.8 months’ progress over the course of the project compared with an average progress of -1.25 months in the low usage group.
- Enjoyment of reading increased significantly over the course of project activities, particularly with respect to enjoyment of reading using technology. 59.4% of pupils enjoyed reading either very much or quite a lot before the project began. This rose to 64.1% post-project. 68.1% of pupils enjoyed reading using technology in the pre-project survey; this increased to 74.3% post-project.
- More pupils thought reading was cool after the project. Fewer said that they found reading difficult or that they could not find things to read that interest them. There was a 27% increase in the number of pupils who thought that reading was cool over the course of the project, rising from 51.8% before the project to 65.9% after the project. The number of pupils who said that they cannot find things to read that interest them decreased by 37%, from 31.3% to 19.7%. The number who felt that reading was difficult halved over the course of the project, decreasing from 14.8% to 6.8%.
- Positive attitudinal changes were more pronounced for boys. There was an 11% increase in the number of boys who enjoyed reading using technology over the course of the project (60.9% pre, 67.9% post); a 25% increase in the number who read daily using technology (30.9% to 38.7%) and a 22% increase in the number who read for an hour or longer using technology. Twice as many boys felt that reading was cool at the end of the project (36.4% pre, 66.5% post) and the percentage that felt reading was difficult almost halved (28.0% pre, 15.9% post).
- Reading enjoyment increased in particular for boys who started the project with the lowest levels of reading enjoyment. The percentage of this subgroup who enjoyed reading using technology increased over the course of the project from 49.2% to 64.2%. However, the percentage that enjoyed reading on paper also increased fourfold, from 10.0% at the beginning of the project to 40.0% at the end of the project. Boys from this group also read for longer using technology, with the number reading for more than an hour tripling from 8.1% to 24.5%.
- Boys who did not enjoy reading at the start of the project also showed pronounced changes in reading attitudes. The percentage that felt reading was cool increased from 15.8% to 42.1%; conversely, the percentage who felt reading was difficult reduced from 36.8% to 10.5%.
- Fewer pupils eligible for free school meals felt that reading was difficult for them. The percentage that felt reading was difficult halved over the course of the project, decreasing from 26.7% pre-project to 12.6% post-project.
- Older pupils were less likely to say that they couldn’t find anything to read that interested them. The percentage of pupils in KS3 that couldn’t find things to read that interested them decreased by more than 10 percentage points, from 37.7% in pre-project surveys to 27.1% post-project.
- Of the pupils who used RM to read more, fewer said that they read only when they had to, or couldn’t find anything to read that interested them. The percentage of pupils in the ‘high usage’ category that said they read only when they had to decreased from 28.3% to 10.5%, while the percentage that said that they couldn’t find anything to read that interested them decreased from 37.4% to 17.5%.
- Most pupils preferred reading using technology, but a high proportion didn’t have a preference for the format they read on. Given a choice, nearly half (45.2%) of pupils at the end of the project said they preferred to read using technology, while just over a quarter (27.8 %) said they preferred reading on paper. 1 in 5 (21.2%) said they didn’t mind what they read on.
- 84.6% of practitioners felt that their ebooks project had increased pupils’ reading enjoyment and motivation, and 7 in 10 felt it had increased pupils’ reading skills.
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