UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reading tools : the enhancement of an online scholarly research environment Arthur, Peter J.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether in the context of an article-critiquing assignment in a teacher education course, access to Open Journal Systems’ Reading Tools, significantly enhances university students’ 1) comprehension, 2) ability to evaluate the quality of the article, and 3) level of confidence in using the article, critically or supportively, as part of their present work as students at university or future work as teachers in a school. The sample for this experimental design consisted of 75 pre-service teacher education students who comprised two sections of the compulsory course entitled “Information Communication Technology for Secondary Teachers” were randomly assigned to either have access to the Reading Tools or no access to complete an authentic assignment as part of the course. As part of the assignment students were asked to create a list of 10-12 “talking points” for each of four articles prior to the class in which they would use the points as a basis of discussing the article with their group. These “talking points” were then marked by two independent markers using a rubric to arrive at a “comprehension” and “critique score.” An article usability score was based on survey questions that all students answered after completing each article assignment. Students in the treatment groups were compared to students who didn’t have access to the Reading Tools. Results of the mixed design ANOVA used to analyze the data indicated there were no significant differences found between the two groups of students in the areas of comprehension, ability to critique, or article utilization. However, student survey feedback indicated a positive perception for the Reading Tools ability to provide value to the online research reading environment. Reasons are considered for why the tools offered no advantage to search-wise students, while further studies are proposed for the development of reading tools.

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