Digital Guidance for Susceptible Readers: Effects on Fifth Graders’ Reading Motivation and Incidental Vocabulary Learning

Thijs M.J. Nielen, Glenn G. Smith, Maria T. Sikkema-de Jong, Jack Drobisz, Bill van Horne, Adriana G. Bus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this digital era, a fundamental challenge is to design digital reading materials in such a way that they improve children’s reading skills. Since reading books is challenging for many fifth graders—particularly for those genetically susceptible to attention problems—the researchers hypothesized that guidance from a digital Pedagogical Agent (PA) could improve students’ reading motivation and incidental vocabulary learning. Using a sample of 147 fifth-grade students, the researchers carried out a randomized control trial with three groups of students reading: (a) hardcopy (print) books, (b) digital books, and (c) digital books with a PA. For students with a genetic predisposition to attention problems, carriers of the DRD4 seven-repeat allele, the PA supported their incidental vocabulary learning. For noncarriers, there were no effects of the digital reading materials or the PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-73
Number of pages26
JournalJOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL COMPUTING RESEARCH
Volume56
Issue number1
Early online date18 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • attention problems
  • differential susceptibility
  • digital pedagogical agent
  • digital reading
  • guided reading
  • in-school free reading
  • randomized control trial
  • reading motivation
  • susceptibility genotypes
  • vocabulary learning

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Digital Guidance for Susceptible Readers: Effects on Fifth Graders’ Reading Motivation and Incidental Vocabulary Learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this