E-Learning in Education: Differences in Test Performance Between Print Books and E-Books

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Rachel H. Kim, Ames, IA
This project is an experimental study comparing test performance of subjects who study with traditional print textbooks and those who study with e-books. With the growing adoption of e-readers and digitization of textbooks, many environmentalists advocate the use of electronic media outlets to save material resources. The research question investigates whether the utilization of one form of media has an advantage for retention during print format tests through the effect of the Encoding-Specificity Theory, a phenomenon whereby replication of distinctive contextual cues facilitates better recall. Test subjects (n=28) were divided into two groups: a within-group distributed for determining whether the print or e-book medium is more effective for memory recall and a between-group distributed for determining the effects of distraction on memory recall. Test subjects were given information to study for 15 minutes before given a distractor activity. All subjects were then asked to take a memory recall test. Data was quantified and analyzed through two-way mixed repeated measures ANOVA on SPSS. Results show that subjects who studied with textbooks tended to perform better on tests than those who studied with e-books (p<.01). Furthermore, subjects who studied with no distractions in the background performed better on tests than those who studied with distractions (p<.05). These results further support the Encoding-Specificity Theory and may be applied to textbook selection in a school curriculum.