Can the computer replace the adult for storybook reading? A meta-analysis on the effects of multimedia stories as compared to sharing print stories with an adult

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present meta-analysis challenges the notion that young children necessarily need adult scaffolding in order to understand a narrative story and learn words as long as they encounter optimally designed multimedia stories. Including 29 studies and 1272 children, multimedia stories were found more beneficial than encounters with traditional story materials that did not include the help of an adult for story comprehension (g+ = 0.40, k = 18) as well as vocabulary (g+ = 0.30, k = 11). However, no significant differences were found between the learning outcomes of multimedia stories and sharing traditional print-like stories with an adult. It is concluded that multimedia features like animated illustrations, background music and sound effects provide similar scaffolding of story comprehension and word learning as an adult.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1366
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume5
Issue numberDEC
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • adult-child book sharing
  • electronic books
  • meta-analysis
  • multimedia storybooks
  • story comprehension
  • vocabulary

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