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Effects of presentation mode and computer familiarity on summarization of extended texts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119 - 136
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage Assessment Quarterly
Issue number2
DatePublished - May 2010


Comparability studies on computer- and paper-based reading tests have focused on short texts and selected-response items via almost exclusively statistical modeling of test performance. The psychological effects of presentation mode and computer familiarity on individual students are underresearched. In this study, 157 students read extended English texts, presented on computer or in print, and then wrote summaries on paper in English and Chinese. Besides summarization performance, the students’ perception of such effects was collected through postsummarization questionnaire and interviews. The statistical analyses found that the only significant main effect of presentation mode was on the length of Chinese summaries, and computer familiarity did not affect summarization performance. The qualitative interview data concur with the statistical findings, but the students also articulated some minute physical and psychological differences between the two delivery modes and their potential effects on summarization. They indicated further that the effects of computer familiarity might be more expected than actually experienced. Although the effects of presentation mode and computer familiarity seemed to be mixed and minimal on test performance, the perceptual data demonstrated the psychological side of such effects and the importance of exploring multiple parameters and the voices of students when investigating comparability of delivery modes.

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Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

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