A Meta-analysis of Multimedia Applications: How Effective Are Interventions with e-Books, Computer-Assisted Instruction and TV/Video on Literacy Learning?

  • Victor H. P. van DaalEmail author
  • Jenny Miglis Sandvik
  • Herman J. Adèr
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 18)


We examined how effectively multimedia applications (computer-assisted instruction, e-books, and TV/Video) benefit the literacy development of at-risk and not-at-risk children. Blok et al. (Rev Educ Res 72:101–130, 2002) analysed computer-assisted instruction studies undertaken in the 1990–2000 period and found an effect size of 0.254. Due to improvements in software and hardware over the 2000–2010 period, it was expected that the efficacy of multimedia applications had increased. Thirty-seven studies covering altogether 42 different treatments/experimental groups, in which in total 2525 children participated, were analysed. Eligibility criteria included quantitative research with participants up to 8 years old, which was published in English. An average effect size across all outcomes of .645 was found. Effects were larger when more time was spent on the task, and for preschoolers and kindergartners in comparison to first and second graders. Implications for the future development of smart phone and tablet applications are discussed.


Computer-assisted instruction e-Books TV/Video Literacy Meta-analysis 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor H. P. van Daal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jenny Miglis Sandvik
    • 2
  • Herman J. Adèr
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationEdge Hill UniversityOrmskirkUK
  2. 2.Sandvik ASStavangerNorway
  3. 3.Johannes van Kessel AdvisingHuizenThe Netherlands

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