Reading across mediums, devices, and contexts (CrossREAD)

Children playing with tablet. Photo.

Reading, in and out of school, is literally changing right before our eyes. Photo: Unsplash


For centuries, print was the dominant reading medium, but digital texts have become ubiquitous and indispensable in most areas of life, including the classroom. Also, individuals are increasingly reading on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and in a variety of reading contexts, such as social networking sites, online news sites, and question-and-answering forums, in addition to more traditional reading contexts. While representing new opportunities, such developments in what, where, when, and in which ways people read also represent new challenges. To better understand these opportunities and challenges, however, more ecologically valid reading research is needed. Accordingly, the current project represents a systematic effort to better align the world of reading research with the world of real life reading.


First, this project aims to better understand the similarities and differences between comprehending text in printed and digital mediums for secondary school students with different levels of experience in learning with digital technologies. To achieve this aim, students provided with 1:1 Internet-connected digital devices (i.e., laptops or tablets) at school will be compared with students attending non-1:1 schools in terms of comprehension performance, assessed with both printed and digital texts and comprehension questions at different levels of specificity.

Second, this project aims to understand similarities and differences in secondary school students’ strategic processing of digital texts. Strategic processing will be investigated during authentic Internet-based inquiry among students with different levels of experience in using digital devices for learning at school (i.e., attending 1:1 vs. non 1-1 schools). In this approach, participants will examine a controversial and non-settled topic using the open Internet, and processing data, such as eye movements, query and navigation behaviors, and verbal protocols, will be collected during the inquiry.

Third, this project aims to understand similarities and differences in processes as well as outcomes when secondary school students comprehend, integrate, and evaluate information on digital devices that vary in terms of mobility and screen size (e.g., desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones), as well as when they comprehend, integrate, and evaluate information in different digital reading contexts, such as social networking sites, question-and-answering forums, online news sites, and more traditional websites.

Project leadership

Professor Ivar Bråten (PI), Department of Education, University of Oslo

Professor Øistein Anmarkrud (co-PI), Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo

Collaborating researchers/participants

Professor Lucia Mason, University of Padua, Italy

Associate Professor Ladislao Salmerón, University of Valencia, Spain

Associate Professor Byeong-Young Cho, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Associate Professor Elena Florit, University of Verona, Italy

Research Fellow, Natalia Latini, University of Oslo


Published Feb. 11, 2020 3:01 PM - Last modified Feb. 12, 2020 11:42 AM