Students learn better when reading from paper than from a screen, latest research reveals

Submitted by: Martyn Eustace 10/05/2013

There have been a number of studies which have investigated the way in which we interact with digital screens rather than from print on paper. Most have shown that we read faster and comprehend better when we read from paper but with advances in screen technology, old studies could be out of date. This new study, Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension, from A. Mangan et al, from the University of Stavanger, and published in the International Journal of Educational Research, shows that the old findings can still be valid; Reading texts on a computer screen leads to poorer reading comprehension than reading the same texts on paper. As governments and other organisations, largely for cost reasons, push society down a digital path the impact on learning and comprehension needs to be properly understood. A new generation of students may be disadvantaged by the withdrawal of traditional books. Will the switch away from printed textbooks increase illiteracy?