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Effectiveness of electronic textbooks with embedded activities on student learning

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


Current versions of electronic textbooks mimic the format and structure of printed textbooks; however, the electronic capabilities of these new versions of textbooks offer the potential of embedding interactive features of web-based learning within the context of a textbook. This dissertation research study was conducted to determine if student learning was affected through reading a hardcopy or electronic version of a college-level textbook written for allied health students. As part of the study, a problem-based learning activity was provided in CD-ROM format and embedded in one version of the electronic textbook. Three groups of 30 students each for a total of 90 students were studied using a hardcopy version of the textbook using a CD-ROM-based activity, an electronic version using a CD-ROM-based activity, or an electronic version using the same problem-based learning activity embedded directly into the electronic textbook. Students took pre- and posttests, as well as provided their scores upon completion of the problem-based learning activity, which were used in data analysis. In addition, time spent on reading the two versions of the textbook and time spent engaged in the learning activity in the two versions were also analyzed. Finally, students completed a web-based qualitative survey. Results of the pre-and posttest data analysis indicated that student learning in all three versions of the textbook were similar; while the median score for the problem-based learning activity was the same. In addition, students spent more time reading the hardcopy version of the textbook versus the two versions of electronic textbook; while students spent similar time on the learning activity no matter the delivery format–CD-ROM or embedded into the textbook. Survey results indicated that students preferred using an electronic textbook versus a hardcopy textbook and preferred to participate in classroom group problem-based activities versus independent problem-based activities provided in the electronic textbook. The results of the dissertation study indicated that both formats of textbooks provide similar learning results for the short-term of their learning activity. Future design of electronic textbook learning opportunities should depend on the use of instructional design to create multimodal learning opportunities.


Porter, P.L. Effectiveness of electronic textbooks with embedded activities on student learning. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved May 9, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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