Desirability of Multimedia Hyperlinks in Fiction to Foster Pupil Reading Motivation and Immersion: Reading Tools for MALL

Desirability of Multimedia Hyperlinks in Fiction to Foster Pupil Reading Motivation and Immersion: Reading Tools for MALL

Claudio Vanhees (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Mathea Simons (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and Vanessa Joosen (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1097-1.ch004

Abstract

Reading from digital screens has become increasingly common practice in educational and recreational reading. The response to this digital shift has been twofold. Some suspect it will harm children's ability to perform deep reading; others highlight its potential to support reading among different groups. Digital reading tools, such as fiction with multimedia hyperlinks, could engage particularly reluctant readers or children from low-literate families. This chapter presents the results of an experimental, mixed-method study that identifies hyperlink type and frequency desirability in literary texts. A comparative analysis of respondent perspectives revealed that teachers mark on average more explanatory and enriching hyperlinks than pupils. Pupil and teacher hyperlink type desirability are significantly influenced by respectively literary genre and reading motivation, and importance of pupil reading motivation and media use. Pupil and teacher explanatory hyperlink frequency are significantly influenced by respectively literary genre, and importance of pupil reading motivation.
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Background

There is a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of both print and digital environments for children’s reading development. Barzillai et al. (2018) propose a model of reading displaying the mutual influence of the characteristics of the reader, the text, and the reading goals/tasks (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

A triangle model of research on the development of digital reading

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The model shows that reading goals/tasks in digital environments greatly influence children’s reading behaviour. For instance, skimming short, online texts invokes shallower reading behaviour than reading a captivating story posted by a loved one (Fitzsimmons, 2016). The way in which schools introduce digital texts, design assignments, and model digital reading behaviour can also influence children’s reading goals (Mifsud & Petrová, 2018). However, Barzillai et al. (2018) underline that there is still a gap between children’s reading in school, where they mostly read linear texts on paper, and outside school, where they read more typically digital non-linear text formats, often on digital reading devices.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hypermedia Fiction: digital literary text that offers a linear story with multimedia hyperlinks that meets narrative conventions (continuity in time and space, steady progression of the unfolding plot, social and psychological development of the characters).

Reading Motivation: the individual's personal goals, values, and beliefs with regard to the topics, processes, and outcomes of reading’ (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000, p. 405).

Reading Immersion: the cognitive process that unfolds during the act of reading and in which ‘the reader dives into the sea, reaches foreign lands (transportation), gets caught (seized by the story), and loses contact with all other realities (to get lost in a book)’ (Ryan, 2001, p. 93).

Hyperfiction: non-sequential digital literary text, solely composed of written words.

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