Multimedia Active Reading: A Framework for Understanding Learning With Tablet Textbooks

Multimedia Active Reading: A Framework for Understanding Learning With Tablet Textbooks

Jennifer Ann Palilonis (Ball State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2399-4.ch014
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In the age of online textbooks and digital reading devices, the nature of active reading has changed. During active reading, learners build and analyze the materials they read by applying specific strategies, such as annotating, summarizing, and developing study guides or other artifacts in an effort to comprehend, memorize, and synthesize information. However, research suggests that as textbooks migrate to the digital space, contemporary active reading may be more accurately conceptualized as, at least in part, dependent upon the medium or the platform on which it occurs. This chapter proposes a novel perspective for understanding active reading called Multimedia Active Reading, which is empirically grounded in prior research that uncovered ways in which learner behaviors in the tablet textbook environment map to common physical active reading strategies (i.e., annotation, reorganization, browsing, and cross-referencing) and introduced and evaluated novel active reading support designed for the tablet textbook environment.
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During the past four decades, a vast body of literature has emerged that seeks to characterize active reading specifically based on the cognitive and physical processes learners enact to better understand educational content. Active reading originated with, “How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading” (M.J. Adler & Van Doren, 1972 & 2011). The authors define active reading as a set of activities that should guide educational reading. Since then, many studies have indicated that students employ a wide range of active reading strategies, particularly when their reading goals include studying for exams or to retain information for a long time. Of course, specific strategies may differ from student to student, and individual students may be more or less successful in their active reading pursuits. However, scholars agree that good active reading skills are critical for students to become successful learners (Scheid, 1993; Zile-Tamsen & Marie, 1996).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Integrated Reading: Synthesizing and effectively cross-referencing and/or browsing information delivered in multiple media formats.

Tablet Textbook: A digital textbook specifically designed for tablet devices–such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy–that blends the structure of a traditional book with additional multimedia content, such as audio, video, animations, interactive graphics , and the like.

Active Reading: The cognitive and physical strategies a reader uses to understand, annotate and critically engage with a printed or digital document.

Interactive Reading: Balancing mechanical interaction, annotation tasks, and comprehension.

Multimedia Active Reading: A set of characteristics that focuses on the emergent nature of active reading with interactive, multimedia tablet textbooks.

Multimedia Content: Audiovisuals, interactive graphics, animations, photo galleries and other types of interactive media.

Structurally Augmented Reading: Capitalizing on the potential for automatic reorganization to support easy browsing, while preserving the value of personalization.

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