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resaerch 17

Ebook Uses and Class Performance In A College Course
Wei Peng
Dept. of Media & Information
Michigan State University
[email protected]
Rabindra Ratan
Dept. of Media & Information
Michigan State University
[email protected]
Laeeq Khan
School of Arts & Sciences
American U of Ras Al Khaimah
[email protected]
Abstract
This research explores ebook use among
undergraduate students, drawing from the technology
acceptance model (TAM) to examine ebook usage
and adoption. Undergraduates enrolled in a large
course at a mid-western university in the United
States completed surveys at the beginning and the
end of the semester. A great amount of variance was
found in ebook use. A small number of students made
a large number of highlights, while the majority of
students only made a small number of highlights. A
majority of students did not utilize the note and
bookmark features. Additionally, we found that
perceived usefulness of ebooks positively predicted
ebook views and perceived ease of use positively
predicted ebook highlights. eBook views were also
found to positively predict academic performance.
Implications of the findings are discussed.
1. Introduction
The rise of “ebooks”, formally defined as “text in
digital form, or digital reading material, or a book in
a computer file format, or an electronic file of words
and images” [1], may be the most important
development in the publishing industry since the
Gutenberg press [2]. Compared to paper books,
ebooks are more accessible and convenient [1],
affordable [3], portable [1], and can be delivered to a
range of digital devices, such as computers, smart
phones, and tablets. In an educational context, where
paper textbooks are often unwieldy and expensive,
electronic textbooks provide an auspicious alternative
for many stakeholders [4, 5]. For students, ebooks
have the potential to augment learning, given their
unique functionalities, such as search, copy-andpaste,
and adjustable highlighting, which contribute
to improving students’ comprehension and recall of
information [6-9]. Further, ebooks potentially
facilitate new types of interactions that revolve
around text content and can enhance learning, such as
cooperation amongst students, contact with faculty,
and prompt feedback [10]. From a publisher’s
perspective, ebooks are easier to update and correct
errors when needed [11]. Teachers who use ebooks in
their classes are better able to measure student
performance by monitoring which pages students
read and for how long. Based on such information,
teachers can identify the areas in a text where
students face difficulties.
A number of studies have compared ebooks and
traditional textbooks in terms of their impacts on
learning and academic performance [12-14].
However, no previous studies have examined how
facets of ebook usage contributes to academic
performance. In this study, we explore how specific
usage of ebooks, such as highlights, pages viewed,
and notes, contribute to academic performance. More
importantly, with the affordance of ebook, we are
able to automatically and objectively gauge the ebook
use data via server logs.
Although books are being increasingly published
electronically, studies reveal that ebooks are not
preferred by college students [15, 16]. Additionally,
even though ebooks have many advanced features,
such as search and annotation, these features are not
utilized frequently, even among highly educated
individuals with adequate skills in information and
technology [17, 18]. The existing literature lacks a
theoretical approach to understanding what predicts
the use of ebooks as well as their various functions.
One theoretical framework that is particularly
powerful in predicting adoption and use of new
technology is the Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM) [19]. The present research examines the use
and perception of ebooks in the higher educational
context from the perspective of TAM.
2. Literature review
2.1. Ebook uses and academic performance
The ebook user population is gradually growing.
This increase may be especially significant amongst
younger audiences. According to a 2011 PEW
Internet and American Life report, the number of
U.S. individuals who read ebooks increased from
16% to 23% for ages 16 years and older [20].
Another Pew Research report also indicated that
ebook readers are avid readers since they had read 24
books on average in a year as compared to a non-
2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
1530-1605/15 .00 © 2015 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/HICSS.2015.18
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