Benefits and pitfalls of multimedia and interactive features in technology-enhanced storybooks: A meta-analysis

Zsofia K. Takacs, Elise K. Swart, Adriana G. Bus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A meta-analysis was conducted on the effects of technology-enhanced stories for young children’s literacy development when compared to listening to stories in more traditional settings like storybook reading. A small but significant additional benefit of technology was found for story comprehension (g+ = 0.17) and expressive vocabulary (g+ = 0.20), based on data from 2,147 children in 43 studies. When investigating the different characteristics of technology-enhanced stories, multimedia features like animated pictures, music, and sound effects were found beneficial. In contrast, interactive elements like hotspots, games, and dictionaries were found to be distracting. Especially for children disadvantaged because of less stimulating family environments, multimedia features were helpful and interactive features were detrimental. Findings are discussed from the perspective of cognitive processing theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-739
Number of pages42
JournalReview of Educational Research
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • at-risk students
  • computers and learning
  • instructional technologies
  • literacy
  • media
  • meta-analysis
  • vocabulary

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