An eye tracking study of digital text reading: a comparison between poor and typical readers

Abstract

The inclusion of technology in schools, coupled with the importance of promoting reading for students with difficulties in particular, has increased the need for investigating processes that support reading and reading comprehension. The present study therefore focuses on the characteristics of reading from an educational digital book containing an expository text and illustrations, conducted by means of an eye tracking methodology enabling online reflection of the reading process. The effect on reading a highlighted text with illustrations was compared to that of reading a static text with illustrations. Participants included 30 poor readers and 31 typical readers aged 8–10.9, randomly assigned to two groups according to reading mode: An experimental group that read a highlighted text with an illustration and a control group that read a static text with an illustration. The findings indicate that among poor readers, the highlighted text in the digital book evoked greater visual focusing on the text and more transitions between the text and the illustration. The findings of the study contribute to our knowledge on multimedia learning and the process of reading among poor and typical readers while reading highlighted text with illustrations.

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Bar-Zvi Shaked, K., Shamir, A. & Vakil, E. An eye tracking study of digital text reading: a comparison between poor and typical readers. Read Writ 33, 1925–1944 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-020-10021-9

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Keywords

  • Electronic book
  • Eye movement
  • Highlighted text
  • Poor readers
  • Primary school children