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Effects of multimedia story reading and questioning on preschoolers’ vocabulary learning, story comprehension and reading engagement

Abstract

The use of multimedia story applications on touch-interactive mobile devices has become prevalent in early education settings. However, despite the promise of multimedia story applications for early learning outcomes, there has been a dearth of research on the educational benefits of such tools, and whether their effects can be strengthened with the integration of questioning strategies. This study investigated the effects of multimedia story reading and questioning on children’s literacy skills, including vocabulary learning, story comprehension and reading engagement. Using a 2 (multimedia vs. paper) × 2 (question vs. no question) design, a total of 72 participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: multimedia story reading, multimedia story reading with questioning, paper story reading, and paper story with questioning. To identify the effects of Media and Questioning on children’s vocabulary learning, story comprehension, and reading engagement, we conducted a series of two-way ANCOVAs, controlling for different covariates as appropriate. The results showed significant interaction of media and questioning on target vocabulary and significant main effect of media for engagement, but the results showed no significant main effects of either media or questioning for comprehension. This study demonstrated research tools to examine children’s learning and engagement with interactive mobile devices, and suggested potential benefits of multimedia story reading and questioning for learning. We discuss implications of these findings for the design and use of multimedia storybooks.

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Correspondence to Ninger Zhou.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Table 4.

Table 4 Reading engagement protocol

For each 30 s interval (Deckner et al. 2006), give a rating from 0 to 2 for the following statements. 0-rarely, indicates that the activity is not observed. 1-sometimes, indicates that the activity is observed occasionally. 2-frequently, indicates that the activity is observed for more than half of the time.

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Zhou, N., Yadav, A. Effects of multimedia story reading and questioning on preschoolers’ vocabulary learning, story comprehension and reading engagement. Education Tech Research Dev 65, 1523–1545 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-017-9533-2

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Keywords

  • Interactive learning environments
  • Multimedia learning
  • Story reading
  • Early literacy