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Title: Academic digital literacy : comprehension reading strategies of international postgraduate students in a UK educational context during the digital era
Author: Khadawardi, Hanadi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 5087
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This study contributes to the existing body of research on academic reading practices in the 21st century, by focussing on on-screen reading in the technological age. The study offers an insight into the nature of on-screen reading, and reflects the authentic on-screen academic reading experiences of international postgraduate (five Master’s and fifteen PhD) Saudi readers in the UK educational context. This was achieved by investigating participants’ reading comprehension processes and strategies while reading on-screen academic research articles, compared with those employed when engaged in print-based reading. This study also scrutinises L2 readers’ use of digital affordances and their on-screen academic reading challenges. A further objective was to examine students’ preferences and perceptions of both reading formats. Case study and interpretive qualitative approaches have been adopted in the present research study. Process oriented techniques, namely demographic questionnaires, think-aloud protocol, field notes, stimulated recall and interviews have been employed to collect the data. Thematic and content analysis; and a constant comparative method (CCM) have been applied to analyse the data. The findings of this study suggest that in order to achieve effective on-screen reading, multiple literacies are required, and this includes a newly identified digital academic strategy literacy (DASL). The research also indicates that although readers develop capabilities over time, readers are not confident enough in their digital literacies to practise on-screen academic reading regularly. Not only did many of the readers in this study lack sufficient competences and capabilities in digital literacies to derive benefit from the advantages of on-screen reading, they were also not able to interact with on-screen text as they would do with printed text. Readers’ preferences for reading printed rather than on-screen text, their L1 and L2, their discipline and/or individual differences might contribute to their on-screen reading interactions. Although new on-screen reading strategies emerged from the data, the results, in the main, reveal a transfer of print-based reading techniques to on-screen reading. This demonstrates a move from a traditional literacy to a digital one in which readers manipulate the strategies that they are already aware of, and are capable of, in order to read a text on-screen. Surprisingly, readers were much more effective; and employed more strategies and interacted more deeply with printed text than with on-screen text. The results from this study have led to the proposal of suggested models for interpreting on-screen L2 academic reading interactions. A number of pedagogical practices are suggested and recommended for preparing L2 readers for further academic study; and these also could be equally applicable and useful for L1 academic reading lessons in the 21st century, including reshaping reading skill textbooks to accommodate and meet the needs of reading comprehension practices in the technological age and promoting learners’ digital academic strategy literacy. These may be useful to teachers when teaching on-screen reading strategies for specific academic purposes in digital universities.
Supervisor: Wright, Vicky ; Zotzmann, Karin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available