The e-book reading environment and reading behavior tracking technique
A gender gap has also been reported in reading (Chiu & Chow, 2010; Liu & Huang, 2008). For example, Chiu and Chow (2010) reported that the reading test scores (PISA, the Programme for International Student Assessment) of adolescent students showed that girls outscored boys in most of the 41 countries examined. Gender issues can also lead to different reading behaviors. For example, Liu and Huang (2008) explored how .
Chinese college students’ gender differences were related to their online reading behaviors, and the results showed that male and female students’ preferences for reading with digital and printed media were significantly different. Reading e-books involves a different set of reading processes and behaviors to those of reading printed ones.
Both digital and printed media have advantages and limitations, and the presentation of each medium tends to meet the needs of readers based on their purposes and preferences, and these diverse reading needs are often due to differences in gender (Salmerón & García, 2011).
1- Gender differences in the reading of e-books
Liu and Huang (2008) found that adult readers print out electronic documents to read more frequently than younger ones, a group that is also known as digital natives, who tend to have different expectations and behaviors toward the use of digital media due to the fact that they have grown up using such technology.
Liu (2005) also noted that people’s reading behaviors have changed over the previous decade, and that screen-based reading is becoming more popular. Several studies (de Jong & Bus, 2004; Grimshaw, Dungworth, McKnight, & Morris, 2007; Korat & Shamir, 2007, 2008) support these views, and further demonstrate that e-books are able to provide individualized and ondemand multimedia features that can promote the learning effectiveness.
2- Therefore, further studies on the use of ebooks
for reading are needed, especially in the context of a digital learning environment, in which younger students seem to prefer reading e-books (Wood, Pillinger, & Jackson, 2010) to a greater extent than older ones (Woody, Daniel, & Baker, 2010).
3- The research question and investigations
Many researchers (Berg, Hoffmann, & Dawson, 2010; Bierman, Ortega, & Rupp-Serrano, 2010; Lam, Lam, Lam, & McNaught, 2009; Pattuelli & Rabina, 2010; Woody et al., 2010) have examined and supported the use of e-books in academic contexts.
However, few works have examined whether gender differences are the factors in reading ebooks among children. This problem should be properly coped with before e-books become more widely used in formal educational practice.
4- Based on the results of this investigation,
Both instructional and learning strategies could be adjusted to provide more an adaptive learning experience for children. To achieve this goal, this study examined whether there are any gender-related differences with regard to children’s attitudes (Lam et al., 2009;
Pattuelli & Rabina, 2010), reading behaviors and outcomes (Berg et al., 2010) when reading e-books, carrying out two investigations. The first surveyed the boys’ and girls’ attitudes towards reading ebooks, and the second examined gender differences in reading behaviors and outcomes when reading e-books.
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