ResearchEd: Findings from the e-Book Quality Rating Tool

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 5 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.

 

So, is Quality Rating Tool 2 (publicly accessible at http://bit.ly/eQRT_v2) any better? We will now hone in on our data to see if we have achieved better reliability with Tool 2. The following 4 charts show the inter-rater reliability on three subscales of version 2 of the e-Book Quality Rating Tool. Ten independent raters evaluated 5 books by assigning each book a score between 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree) on ease of use, multimedia and interaction features. Ratings were considered reliable if they fell within +1 point of the rating assigned by the Expert Rater, the project technology expert.

 

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ResearchEd: An e-Book Quality Rating Tool is Born

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 4 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.

 

Drawing on the professional knowledge base we used for developing the Blueprint Key and Analyatic Tools 1 & 2, we developed a matrix to guide the design of a prototype tool for evaluating the e dimension of the early childhood e-book. This matrix provided a framework for organizing the tool (categories & elements) and specified criteria for judging the electronic environment. We used the Quality Rating Tool 1 (publicly available at http://bit.ly/eQRT_v1) with a set of internal raters, consisting of 4 teachers, and also external raters, who were members of our research team.

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ResearchEd: Analytic Tools for Examining e-Book Features

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 3 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.


From the Blueprint Key, we moved to the development of 2 unique analytic tools. Analytic Tool I was adapted from the coding categories of de Jong and Bus (2003) and focused primarily on multimedia/ interactivity design features. This tool uses the entire e-book as the unit of analysis. It is organized into four categories—Book Assistants; Multimedia Illustrations; Multimedia Print; Interactivity—that reflect the major early literacy learning domains of Book Handling, Comprehension, Word Recognition and Cognitive Processing. The four categories include 14 elements that describe ebook design (e.g., presence of static and/or animated illustrations).

 

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ResearchEd: e-Books, Learning Objects and the Blueprint Key

In Phase 1, our research goal was to design an effective and usable tool for early childhood teachers to us in order to rate the quality of the e-Book for use in early literacy instruction. Our interest in developing an e-Book rating tool began in 2008 with our first attempt, the Blueprint Key, and has evolved over time by blending several different analytic tools to create the most recent version, the Quality Rating Tool. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of each component of the Quality Rating Tool.

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ResearchEd: Developing an e-Book Quality Rating Tool

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 1 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.


e-Books are becoming increasingly common in our society. Children and adults can read e-Books easily using devices such as the Kindle, Nook, iPods, iPads, iPhones, and computers. The speed at which e-Books are adapted into routine use could be accelerated even faster as communication technologies such as Wi-Fi and smartphones become more common in people’s daily lives.

 

So, then what does this mean in regards to e-Book reading from the perspective of e-Book pedagogy in early childhood classrooms? What do we know about the quality of current e-Books that many children are reading? During this presentation, we will briefly explain an e-Book instructional model in early literacy, and then we will focus on the issue of developing an e-Book quality-rating tool.

 

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