Comparison of effectiveness of two mobile application designs for encouraging children to read.

Versfeld, Erin and Foster, James and Kuttel, Michelle (2015) Comparison of effectiveness of two mobile application designs for encouraging children to read., Proceedings of 2015 Annual Research Conference of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT 2015), 28-30 September 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa, ACM.

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Many South Africans are functionally illiterate, which impacts adversely on their further education and job prospects. As literacy deficits begin in primary school, it is vitally important to improve reading engagement in children aged 6 to 13 years. In this study, we explored the use of mobile applications to improve children’s engagement with, and enjoyment of, reading. Two alternative approaches were prototyped: the StoryMaker tablet application allows children to create a digital story book incorporating characters from the popular Nal’ibali reading-forenjoyment supplements, while the StoryGame application uses a less traditional gamification approach, where the user directs a character through a story by solving word problems. The applications were tested on groups of children aged 10 to 12. While both applications met with enthusiasm, the children reported that the StoryGame application encouraged them to read more, while they would prefer to play with the StoryMaker application. The long-term benefits of these applications are still to be established, but this pilot study should inform the design of future applications to encourage reading in children.

Item Type: Conference paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: eLearning, literacy
Subjects: Software and its engineering
Applied computing > Law, social and behavioral sciences
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Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:32

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