Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Digital Literacy | Education



To explore effects of the technological interface on reading comprehension in a Norwegian school context.


72 tenth graders from two different primary schools in Norway.


The students were randomized into two groups, where the first group read two texts (1400–2000 words) in print, and the other group read the same texts as PDF on a computer screen. In addition pretests in reading comprehension, word reading and vocabulary were administered. A multiple regression analysis was carried out to investigate to what extent reading modality would influence the students’ scores on the reading comprehension measure.


Main findings show that students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally. Implications of these findings for policymaking and test development are discussed.