Original Texts vs. Print-outs: Which Leads to Better Learning?

Blogcollectief Onderzoek Onderwijs

In the past, I’ve written about the differences in learning from printed materials versus on-screen (e.g., monitor, tablet) and that for a number of reasons printed materials were better. But, a question kept gnawing at me – and was also posed to me a few times too – namely if it made a difference if the printed materials were print-outs or actual materials (textbooks, magazines, etc.). Just today I came across an article in Contemporary Educational Psychology which throws a little light on the question.

Ladislao Salmerón, Laura Gil, and Ivar Bråten did a study which investigated the extent to which students’ sourcing )i.e., citing sources) and comprehension can be supported by the reading of real, as opposed to print-out versions of multiple documents. They write in the abstract:

It was found that the reading of real rather than print-out versions of multiple documents on the issue of climate change…

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