Mobile Books: Effect of Engagement on Students’ Motivation and Cognitive Strategy Use
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This mixed methods research explores the role of reading engagement in 30 grade 1 students’ motivation to read mobile electronic storybooks (eBooks) and cognitive strategies used during eBook reading. Data collection comprised motivation and parent questionnaires, behavioural observation checklists, cognitive strategies rubric, and teacher interviews. Students’ emotional engagement with and enjoyment of mobile eBooks corresponded to 4 motivational aspects of intrinsic motivation: curiosity, control, choice, and challenge. Post-intervention results indicated that most student participants enjoyed answering eBook comprehension questions and preferred eBooks to print books; by the end of the study, all had access to a mobile device at home. A majority of participants were actively engaged during mobile eBook reading sessions and persisted in answering embedded eBook comprehension questions, which together reflected students’ behavioural engagement and time-on-task during mobile reading. Students’ off-task behaviours related to iPads’ accessibility features and inherent reader-friendliness. All participants successfully answered evaluative questions requiring them to activate prior knowledge, and experienced higher levels of difficulty with making personal connections. The study highlights the importance of making school-based literacy practices relevant to students’ outside worlds, and discusses implications for teacher educators, administrators, curriculum developers, and eBook and other digital developers concerning the need for greater collaboration in order to more closely align technology resources with national curriculum expectations.