The next paper in the "reading format" session at the European Conference on Information Literacy 2015 was Paper or Electronic: Preferences of Slovenian Students from Vlasta Zabukovec, coauthored with Polona Vilar.
This study was part of the multi-country study that I just blogged about: a 25 item survey carried out March-May 2015. The content addressed format preference, behaviour and attitudes, devices used.
120 male and 140 females responded from three universities in Slovenia. There was a strong preference for print format. 76% disagreed or strongly disagreed that e-textbooks were good. When they read the e-textbooks they did so on laptops and PCs more than anything else. The students agreed by a big majority (about 80%) that articles over 7 pages were read in print for preference. Language did not emerge as a factor affecting preference (this would mostly be Slovenian and English). Only about 5% agreed/strongly agreed that they preferred Slovenian material electronically (even a smaller percentage than for other languages). A majority annotated print items, and a smallminority annotated electronic items. In teh learning process, participants identified that print was easier for learning, focusing and reviewing.
There were obvious implications: i.e. that students still want to use printed materials, although there could be scope for developing students' knowledge/skills about electronic publications.
In a question afterwards, it emerged that students did like convenient, free online publications: but then they wanted to print them out.