Individual variation in children's reading comprehension across digital text types
SourceJournal of Research in Reading, 41, 1, (2018), pp. 106-121
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Research in Reading
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
The present study examined children's digital text comprehension of digital text types linear digital text vs hypertext, with or without graphical navigable overviews. We investigated to what extent individual variation in children's comprehension could be explained by lexical quality (word reading efficiency and vocabulary knowledge), cognitive load factors (prior knowledge and working memory), text type and graphical overview. Participants were 93 sixth graders in a within-subject design. Word reading efficiency, vocabulary knowledge and prior knowledge predicted children's digital comprehension scores, while working memory did not. Reading comprehension was equal for linear text or hypertext. However, the presence of an overview facilitated reading comprehension for readers with lower prior knowledge. It can be concluded that hypertexts with basic digital text features and accompanying comprehension questions are not more difficult for children than linear digital texts, that similar individual factors predict reading comprehension of linear text and hypertext, and that a graphical overview helps when prior knowledge is low.
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