Access your Textbooks – Digital VS Physical

14 Sep

COME ON, GUYS! Vote for your ‘LIKE’ and ‘IDEAL’!!!

No matter you are an old fashioned physical book reader or a tablet-savvy book reader, the way we choose to interact with the book content is crucial and somehow related to the effectiveness and satisfaction level of our reading experience.

For university students, the preference of formats or types of textbooks predominantly depends on the price that can be afforded rather than the preferred reading habit. According to my empirical research, there are still a great number of students who are able to achieve better learning outcomes through taking notes,tagging,highlighting in a physical textbook. For others, they enjoy the efficiency of E-textbook or electronic learning materials that virtual tools enable faster and effective study.  A research on “Reading behaviour in the digital environment” done by Ziming Liu (2005) from San Jose State University, California,USA, presents a trend of reading habit that shifts from paper-based to screen-based reading with an increasing amount of time spent.

The screen-based reading behaviour is characterized by more time spent on browsing and scanning, keyword spotting, one-time reading, non-linear reading, and reading more selectively, while less time is spent on in-depth reading, and concentrated reading.

The research reveals that although the screen-based reading behaviour is emerging, the traditional pattern of reading has not yet migrated to the digital environment.

Moreover, as a university student, I can feel that no matter how advanced reading tool I applied in the process of reading, in certain period of time I definitely need some sort of physical tools or material to assist the entire learning process. Do you have the SAME feeling?

Therefore, when it comes to the Open Educational Resources (OERs), the combination of physical and virtual (electronic) learning resources is crucial. With the goal of achieving ideal learning outcomes, OERs in both physical and electronic versions in most cases are necessary to tailor university students’ various reading habits.

In the next blog, we will discuss something about “Virtual University” to increase and further the possibility and potential of OERs in modern-day universities.


Ziming Liu, (2005) “Reading behavior in the digital environment: Changes in reading behavior over the past ten years”, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 61 Iss: 6, pp.700 – 712.

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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in #mdia3005, @TextbookFair, z3310337


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