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ERIC Number: ED556204
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 264
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-5281-6
A Study of Algebra 1 Students' Use of Digital and Print Textbooks
Thomas, Amanda
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Columbia
The dissertation study described here examines Algebra 1 students' use of print and digital mathematics textbooks within the classroom setting. Following the emergence of digital textbooks in U.S. schools, the study responds to a critical need to understand not only the potential of innovative digital instructional materials, but also the actual implementation of new textbook media within mathematics classrooms. Whereas prior studies relating to printed textbook use have focused on teachers, consideration of students' digital textbook use confronts the claim that these products are more engaging and motivating. Examining both print and digital textbook use allows for comparison between how students use Algebra 1 textbooks presented in two formats. Activity theory frames the study, functioning as a tool to understand how students use textbooks within the context of the mathematics classroom. This case study employed qualitative methods to investigate how students in two Algebra 1 classrooms, taught by the same teacher, used corresponding print and digital formats of a commercially published Algebra 1 textbook. Daily observations and video recordings, a series of student interviews, weekly teacher interviews, and artifacts of student work depict student use of the two textbook formats throughout a chapter focusing on linear functions. Data analysis focuses on clips of student textbook use, recorded from students' perspectives using head-mounted video cameras. These clips are supported with data from stimulated recall interviews in which students elaborated on their textbook use. Findings indicate that students used a small proportion of the textbook resources and features available to them, both in the class using print format and in the class using digital format. Although variation existed among students in both classes, students tended to view the textbook primarily as a source for homework exercises and rarely attended to worked out examples and text within lessons. Furthermore, students' textbooks use was predominantly teacher-directed regardless of the textbook format. However, the two classes differed with respect to their engagement with the classroom community while using their textbooks. Students in the class using print textbooks tended to engage with the teacher and peers while using their textbooks, while the class using the digital format remained mostly silent as students used their textbooks. One of most notable findings in the study occurred in the class using digital textbooks. Although the digital textbook included a variety of interactive features, those features were among the least used. Nonetheless, students in both classes expressed preferences for digital formats. Implications of the study suggest that strategic use of textbooks, regardless of format, is not automatic for students and that classroom teachers play an important role in how their students use their Algebra 1 textbooks. In order to capitalize on the potential that digital textbooks offer for integrating mathematics curriculum with technological learning tools, students must not only understand how to use these powerful resources, but also have a motive to engage more deeply with the mathematical content conveyed in the materials. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A