Perceptions and Preferences of Digital and Printed Text and Their Role in Predicting Digital Literacy

  •  Soonhwa Seok    
  •  Boaventura DaCosta    


This study explored the relationships between the reading of digital versus printed text among 1,206 South Korean high school students in grades 9 through 12. The Test of Silent Contextual Reading Fluency (2nd ed.), the Digital Propensity Index, and the Reading Observation Scale were among the instruments used to measure reading proficiency and digital propensity. Statistical analysis was comprised of a paired sample t test to compare students’ reading perceptions of digital and printed text; independent sample t tests were used to explore reading preferences and the relationships between digital and printed text; and a multiple linear regression was used to explore digital propensity based on reading behaviors. Among the results, students were found to have higher positive perceptions of the reading of printed text; reading preference depended on the purpose for reading (e.g., learning versus entertainment); and significant mean differences were found among students’ reading scores and digital propensity regarding preferences between the reading of digital and printed text. Although much more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn, the findings suggest several ways to achieve student literacy competency in the use of digital and printed text, while also pointing to additional factors that influence perceptions and behaviors among these two formats.

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