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A Multilevel Analysis of Swedish and Norwegian Students’ Overall and Digital Reading Performance with a Focus on Equity Aspects of Education
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3241-967X
2016 (English)In: Large-scale assessments in education, E-ISSN 2196-0739, Vol. 4, 3Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Influence of external factors in general, and socioeconomic background factors in particular, on traditional reading performance has been extensively researched and debated. While traditional reading is well investigated in this respect, there is a lack of studies on equity aspects related to digital reading achievement, in spite of the fact that time spent on reading from digital devices such as computers, tablets, and smart phones without doubt is increasing all over the world. In the hope of contributing to an area that up until now to a great extent has been left unresearched, the present study aims at investigating to what degree external factors, such as cultural and economic capital, parental pressure, and school choice, are related to 15-year-old students’ achievement in digital reading and in overall reading on both the student level and the school level in Norway and Sweden.

Methods: To conduct the analysis, multilevel structural modelling techniques have been used on PISA data from the two countries.

Results: The results for the Norwegian as well as for the Swedish sample showed that overall reading achievement was related to cultural capital in both countries, as expected, and in line with previous research. An identified digital reading factor, representing the unique aspects of digital reading achievement when overall reading was controlled for, was less influenced by the external factors of cultural and economic capital, and by parental pressure and school type, compared to performance in overall reading. Interestingly, on the school level, it was found that the external factors, school choice, and parental pressure related to overall reading achievement differently in the Norwegian and Swedish samples. School choice influenced overall reading in the Swedish data but not in the Norwegian data, and the opposite pattern was found for parental pressure.

Conclusion: In conclusion, it is suggested that the results indicate aspects of inequity in the school systems in Norway and Sweden. However, no influence of background factors on the unique aspects of digital reading ability was found, and a tentative interpretation could be that digital reading ability is not (yet) perceived as a part of a cultural capital

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 4, 3
Keyword [en]
digital reading, traditional reading, cultural capital, economic capital, structural equation modelling, multi-level analysis
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23666DOI: 10.1186/s40536-016-0021-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-23666DiVA: diva2:770215
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Det digitala läsandet: Begrepp, processer och resultat
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Det digitala läsandet: Begrepp, processer och resultat
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Digital reading : Concepts, Processes, and Results
Abstract [en]

The aim of this doctoral dissertation project has been to investigate and describe the reading comprehension of digital texts related to the reading of traditional texts by gender differences, computer-game playing, and socioeconomic background factors. The dissertation is based on four studies. In the first study, the results from a reading comprehension test delivered on screen is compared to a test delivered on paper and administered to 235 Swedish students 14-15 years of age. The students managed the test in the paper mode slightly better than that in the screen mode. The difference was particularly evident for boys. The second study used Swedish data from the PISA 2009 survey in an analysis conducted with a structural equation modelling technique. A digital reading factor nested within the overall reading was identified. A gender difference in favour of boys was found in this factor. This difference was perfectly mediated by the larger amount of time that the boys spent on computer-game playing. The third study, conducted on Swedish and Norwegian PISA data from 2009, focussed on equity aspects in reading comprehension and indicated that the unique aspects of digital reading were not influenced by cultural capital, neither on the student nor on the school level, in contrast to what was the case for traditional reading comprehension. The fourth study, using qualitative data, aimed at exploring the abilities and skills important for digital reading. The analysis resulted in five categories: traditional literacy, multimodal literacy, pathfinding, IT abilities, and information abilities. Drawing on a mixed-methods approach, the overall conclusion drawn from the results of the four studies was that reading comprehension of digital texts has unique aspects in addition to those required for reading comprehension of traditional texts. Three other important conclusions were pointed out as well. The first was that reading comprehension is influenced by the context of the texts; the second was that particular skills and abilities are required for digital reading; and the third was that there seems to be less of an influence of background factors on the performance of digital reading compared to traditional reading among Swedish (and Norwegian) youth. The results are discussed in relation to a Dual Level Theory formulated by Leu et al., as well as the validity issues with an outset in Bachman’s conversation analysis. The implications for schooling have been considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet, 2014. 116 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 209
Keyword
Reading comprehension, digital reading, education, pedagogy, information- and communication technology, mixed-methods, literacy, structural equation modelling, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23667 (URN)978-91-87557-94-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-16, Alfhild Agrellsalen, U401, Mittuniversitetet, Sambiblioteket, Härnösand, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2015-05-05Bibliographically approved

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