Effectiveness of digital tools to support pupils’ reading in secondary school: A systematised review

Danlei Chen, Gale MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Engagement with reading falls around the age of 11 or 12, and there is widespread concern with levels of literacy amongst adolescents. Most research examines how digital tools facilitate preschoolers' reading or reading motivation outside school. Less research is conducted in the school context, particularly with older pupils. This article reports a systematised review to investigate the effectiveness of digital tools for supporting reading in secondary schools. Two thousand three hundred ninety-six articles were screened with 10 selected for review. The empirical evidence is examined, definitions of effectiveness, and facilitators and barriers are identified. Findings show the evidence base is varied, but robust; digital tools are effective in motivating adolescents' reading interest, and improving their reading skills and test scores; teachers are key facilitators in the process. Findings are in line with research with younger age-groups suggesting the transferability of research across a wide age-range. Implications for practice and suggestions for developing research in this area are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning
Issue number2
Early online date12 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • digital tools
  • reading
  • reading skills
  • reading engagement
  • adolescents
  • systematised review


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