The phenomenology of on-screen reading: university students' lived experience of digitised text

Schools Information technology Great Britain

As reading shifts from the page to the screen, research focuses primarily upon the nature and effects of hypertextual reading.

However, many of the texts that university students read for academic purposes are digitised texts that begin life as paper-based books and papers and are read on-screen. Applying the principles and practices of hermeneutic phenomenology, this study sought to gain insight into university students' experiences of reading digitised texts such as e-books and Portable Document Format files.
Open-ended interviews were conducted with 10 students. A thematic analysis of the interviews revealed six main themes: the disappearing page, to have but not to hold, the ever present screen, getting in focus, the disciplined body and finding what I need.

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