Exploring Digital Literacy for Students with Reading Disabilities

Presenter(s): Sunjung Kim Thao, Amy Thompson, & Amber Gleghorn

 

Technological advancement, such as e-learning, require that virtually all students engage in learning on the internet. However, it is currently unknown how students with reading deficits compare with their peers with typical reading skills in these digital instructional environments. The purpose of this study was to investigate students with reading deficits would perform on online research tasks compared to their peers with typical reading skills? 32 college students with reading deficits (RD) and 33 college students with typical reading skills (TR) were presented with four types of questions regarding the Keto diet and searched for information on the internet to answer the questions. The four questions were definitional, procedural, analytical, and argumentative questions. Students with RD performed similar to their peers when they were asked to simply define a term or list facts, however, students with RD performed lower than their peers on tasks requiring deeper learning (i.e., analytic and procedural tasks). For students with weak reading abilities, technology may not be as helpful as we expected. Considering that digital learning technology is omnipresent in students’ academic and personal lives, educators should provide specific and explicit guidance on online research and learning as well as work to strengthen these students’ literacy skills. The implementation of instructional strategies for improving online research and learning for students with RD will be addressed.

 

Amy Thompson is an assistant professor at the University of Central Arkansas. She received her PhD from the University of Central Arkansas. Her areas of research specialization include preparation of dyslexia interventionists and reading specialists, helping educators understand dyslexia, technology, and assessment and intervention in reading. She researches the use of technology in assessment and intervention for those with reading difficulties to better inform educator preparation programs. She is the Graduate Literacy/Dyslexia Program Coordinator in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education.

Amber Gleghorn graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May of 2020. She has assisted Dr. Sunjung Kim Thao with her research and clinic work since 2018. Presently, Amber is a graduate student and research assistant at the University of Central Arkansas, where she is pursuing her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is set to graduate next August of 2022.

Sunjung Thao (formerly Kim) is an associate professor at the University of Central Arkansas. She received her PhD from the University of Florida. Her areas of research specialization include language, reading, and cognition in dyslexia and other reading disabilities. She researches the use of technology in assessment and intervention for those with language-learning disabilities. She is involved in literacy assessment/diagnostics and intervention at UCA clinic and leads the eyeRead lab for research on reading and learning.

 

Disclosure for Amy Thompson, Amber Gleghorn, Sunjung Thao

Financial Relationships: None
Non-financial Relationships: None

Disclosure

Financial Relationships:

  • None

Non-financial Relationships:

  • None
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