Cognitive Engagement in the Use of Print and Digital Texts in the Classroom

Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Belma Sadikovic


cognitive engagement, digital text, print text, stamina, student preference, reading comprehension


The purpose of this study was to describe the effects on cognitive engagement in terms of stamina and reading comprehension when using print texts compared to digital texts. The participants of this study included twenty-seven 3rd and 4th grade students attending elementary school in the public school system on a United States Air Force Base. Participants included both boys and girls of varying race, ethnicity, and ability levels and for whom signed consent and assent was received. Data was collected through a digital survey, text retells, and observations. The results of this study indicated that more students prefer to read a print text when given the option between reading a print or digital text, and that a majority of the time, students’ individual preferences match the type of text identified as the type that yields higher cognitive engagement for them. Students were more cognitively engaged in print texts; however, students’ ability to retell was only slightly impacted by the type of text that was read.

Abstract only: No full text available.