PIRLS 2016: Using computers for reading activities and students' attitudes to reading Publications
This paper uses data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016) to investigate the relationship between teachers’ use of digital activities and their teaching strategies, and how students felt about reading—their enjoyment, engagement, and confidence.
Author(s): Jessica Forkert and Megan Chamberlain [Educational Measurement and Assessment, Ministry of Education]
Date Published: November 2020
International studies such as PISA, PIRLS, and TIMSS tend to focus on the relationship between achievement outcomes and either attitudes or engagement; we seldom consider attitudes or engagement as outcomes or their relationship with students’ classroom experience. To begin bridging this gap, data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016) was used to investigate the relationship between teachers’ use of digital activities and their teaching strategies, and how students felt about reading. Specifically, the relationship between the frequency with which teachers taught strategies for digital reading and how often they had their students do digital reading activities, were considered in relation to how much students like reading, their self-confidence in their ability as readers, and how engaged they were with their reading. These relationships were examined taking into account student gender, language of assessment, and an estimate of reading achievement. Teachers’ age was also considered.
We found no direct relationship between how often teachers engaged students in digital reading instruction and activities, and students’ engagement in reading or their self-confidence. There was however, a direct, negative relationship between how often teachers had their students use computers or tablets for reading activities and their liking of reading. Students’ liking of reading diminished as the frequency with which they did the activities increased, after taking into account students’ sex, the assessment language, and achievement. These findings give us insight into possible future investigation into how the relationship between teacher practice and student outcomes works, and what factors influence this relationship.
- There was no significant relationship between how often teachers explicitly taught digital reading strategies and how students felt about reading.
- There was no significant relationship between how often students were engaged in digital instructional activities and either students’ confidence in, or their engagement with, reading.
- Students who were engaged in digital instructional activities weekly or more liked reading less.
- Individual student characteristics have a stronger relationship with student outcome variables than either digital teaching strategies or digital instructional activities.
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