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What We've Learned:About Digital Read Alouds and Preschoolers

Katie Paciga, Ph.D.

This study looked at the effects of four different types of eBook formats on the listening comprehension of at-risk three- and four-year-old children. Results showed that very few of the preschoolers were able to independently comprehend the digital story used for the research. Also, it was found that the different commercially available digital storybook presentation formats did not have different effects on the children's listening comprehension. Individual differences in background knowledge did, however, play a substantive role in preschoolers’ story listening comprehension, as did the children's skill in controlling a computer (i.e., when children could not work a mouse or click on icons, they were also unable to comprehend the digital story). These results indicated that it is likely that at-risk populations require substantially more support and scaffolding for listening comprehension than any of the currently available digital storybook presentation formats provide. Future refinement in the design of these digital environments is therefore recommended so that at-risk learners’ experiences with digital storybook activities can be more productive.

Paciga, K. (2011). Preschoolers’ listening comprehension of digital storybooks. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago.




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