Dissertation Reviews

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Sarah Harper EDET780 5/28/13 Dissertation Reviews Introduction There has been a steady increase in the use of electronic textbooks in higher education, many academic libraries are increasing their purchases of electronic textbooks and vastly decreasing their purchase of print books. I am interested in two factors related to the use of e-textbooks in higher education. Firstly in student preference for print vs. e-textbooks, and secondly in the efficacy of etextbooks vs. print textbooks. Dissertation #1 Kissinger, J. S. (2011). A collective case study of mobile e-book learning experiences. University of North Florida). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 194. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.pallas2.tcl.sc.edu/pqdtft/docview/873443802/full textPDF?accountid=13965 Summary This dissertation explored the learning experience of students using mobile ebook readers. It was a multiple case study design using descriptive summaries of student cases, student and instructor interview data, and cross case synthesis. The researcher reached six main conclusions. First, students felt competent in use of mobile ebooks. Second, Students expressed feeling of high self-efficacy when using the mobile e-books. Third, Students valued the use of e-books in learning. Fourth, students were individualized and metacognitive in their learning. Fifth, students enhanced their learning socially and within situated learning opportunities, and sixth, students and the instructor had divergent views on the value of social interactive textbooks. Review This study provided valuable insight into student feeling on the use of mobile e-textbooks. Most interesting was the result showing that students and instructors had differing views on the value and utility of social interactive textbooks. This is a challenge that I have seen in my work in the medical school and that I think is common throughout higher education. Students are more comfortable with technology and want more of it in their class design,

while faculty lag behind in its adoption. Faculty development in terms of technology will only become more and more important as time goes on. Dissertation #2 Smith, B. A. (2008). A quantitative analysis of the impact of e-book format on student acceptance, usage and satisfaction. Capella University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 171. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com.pallas2.tcl.sc.edu/pqdtft/docview/304833037/13E5583D9357C2DF3E7/1?a ccountid=13965

Summary This dissertation examined the acceptance, usage, and satisfaction of e-book formats by students. The focus was the application of the technology acceptance model (TAM). The study aimed to identify the preferred e-book format, the preference differences between students in different generational age groups, and the preference difference between online vs. on-campus students. The study found that there were differences in preferences for particular formats by students with differences based on campus delivery method as well as by generational age groups. The largest preference was for an e-book format that can be read online and downloaded as a PDF for offline reading. The baby boomer age group also had a preference for an option to print. Review As more schools move towards adopting e-books, the question of format becomes an important one. It is not enough to look only at whether or not students prefer e-books. Research like the study performed in this dissertation is vital. The results are valuable for schools and libraries that are purchasing ebooks. They need to pay attention to what types of e-book formats are available and which match best with their student population. Also important is the fact that preferences differ based on the type of student and age group. As the baby boomer age group leaves higher education to be replaced by younger (perhaps more technologically savvy students) preferences for e-book format may change as well.

Dissertation #3 Dominick, J. L. (2005). The in-situ study of an electronic textbook in an educational setting. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 405-405 p. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com.pallas2.tcl.sc.edu/pqdtft/docview/305394680/fulltextPDF/13E5582D6B6D0 EC93F/1?accountid=13965

Summary This dissertation looked at both college reading in general and at e-textbooks specifically. Students were followed over the course of four semesters reading etextbooks on a laptop that were reproductions of the print material. The study found that “student textbook reading is heavily assessment driven and dependent on the pedagogy of the class.” In addition it was found that students preferred the print material over the e-textbooks. The author gives a number of suggestions and predictions as to the future of e-textbooks at the undergraduate level. Most striking is the thought that in two generations textbooks as we know them will not exist anymore. Also thought provoking is the question of why e-textbooks or e-readers do not record reading behavior. Review This study provided insight into the college reading experience and how students use textbooks. I found it interesting and helpful especially in terms of the predictions that the author gave of where e-textbooks may be headed. The study is a bit older so it looked at reading e-textbooks on a laptop I wonder if their results would be different if it was repeated now with portable e-readers. There is a large difference between reading your textbook on a laptop and being able to read it on a kindle that you can take anywhere, I think that is a big selling point to students now, the portability of the device. I do agree with the author that students seem to have a physical relationship with print books (I know that I do) and that part of the problem with many current e-textbooks is that they are trying to replicate the print book in a electronic format. In order for students to make the best use of them they may have to move away from that and towards different format options and different types of interactions to be of more sue to students.

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