Graduate Students’ Experiences and Attitudes Toward Using E-Books for College-Level Courses

Rasha Alhammad, Heng-Yu Ku

Abstract


 

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences and attitudes of graduate students toward the use of e-books for college-level courses.  Seven students who pursued graduate studies at a midsize university in the Western United States volunteered to participate in semi-structured interviews.  A theoretical lens comprised of three supporting learning theories (social constructivism, information processing, and self-efficacy theories) related to the constructivist learning approach was utilized to analyze the results and provide insight about students’ learning experiences with e-books.  Students’ responses were categorized in four main areas: (a) they valued using e-books for social interactions and anytime/anywhere sharing and learning, (b) they indicated that e-books offer better information processing opportunities, (c) they expressed feelings of high self-efficacy and convenience, and (d) they indicated reasons of their negative perceptions and provided recommendations that could improve e-books to better support learning.  Six out of seven students indicated their preference of using e-books over printed books.  However, four out of these six students shifted their preference to printed books when asked if they preferred reading e-books for learning activities that required them to fully comprehend the information.  Furthermore, this study provided discussion, limitations, and recommendations for future research.

 


Keywords


: e-books; educational technology; constructivism; information processing; self-efficacy; social learning; multimedia learning

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