Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Typology of e-book interactions and ‘e-book literacy’ skills #i3rgu

More from the 2nd day at the i3 #i3rgu conference in Aberdeen, Scotland. Laura Muir talked about A Typology of e-book interactions and the ‘e-book literacy’ skills and tools required for achieving students' study goals. She drew on her own existing research that showed that students found e-books awkward to use and read etc. (e.g. Muir et al., 2010)
They have done case studies of students using e-books for coursework, with a focus on functionality and components of e-book literacy. This responded to the gap in research about how students use e-books (as opposed to how they say they use them, or how often they use them). Students carried out a coursework-related task, their interaction was captured, and there was a reflective interview afterwards. There is a recent article on this research: Muir and Hawes, 2013. They combined the findings from this study with results from other studies of e-book use, to identify a set of types of interaction with e-books. The two outputs from this typology were (i) a set of e-book functions and tools that they could feed back to publishers and content creators (ii) a framework of e-book literacy.
The eight types of interaction that emerged from the research were: define; access; evaluate; manage; integrate; create; communicate; review.
Defining: meant defining the academic task and identify their information need. This included awareness of e-books in answering that need. The speaker noted that a couple of students did not get beyond this stage: they were unable to define the task.
Access: included scanning, searching and navigating to find information and then reading the content. Reading includes sequential reading and reading to answer a reference question, as well as dealing with sudden loss of access to teh book whilst you were using it.
Evaluate: including relating it back to the original task. It included notetaking, downloading or printing, sorting and synthesising.
Manage: included saving results, referencing correctly.
Integrate involved reviewing results across sources and integrating them
Create: meant producing output (e.g. essay)
Communicate: meant delivering the output
Review: meant reflecting on how successful the learner had been in completing the task.

So, this framework could be used to educate students to use e-books better. Muir noted that the e-books were often still difficult to use effectively, with unreliability and poor functionality.

Muir, L. and Hawes, G., (2013) The case for e-book literacy: undergraduate students' experience with e-books for course work. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 39 (3), 260-274.
Muir, L.J., Veale, T. and Nichol, A., (2010). Like an open book? Accessibility of e-book content for academic study in a diverse student population. Library and Information Research, 33(105), 90-109

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