Ku, Heng-Yu


Lahman, Maria K. E.

Committee Member

Kyser, Christine D.


Educational Research, Leadership, and Technology


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





307 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The main purpose of this qualitative research was to explore graduate students’: (a) interpretations of their experiences with the use of e-books for learning; (b) reasons that influence their preference to use e-books or printed books when they learn; (c) perceptions toward e-books impact on learning; (d) perceptions toward the influence of prior technological experience, knowledge, and confidence on opinions and decisionmaking associated with e-books; (e) interpretations of their experiences with the use of a given e-book; and (f) recommendations of changes to e-books to better supporting their learning. Participants were 20 graduate students at one of the midsize universities in the Western United States. Purposeful sampling was applied to the selection of participants along with the proposed selection criteria. The data collection procedure was comprised of three phases and three data collection methods (interviews, observations, and artifacts). Interview transcripts were the main data source in this research. Observational data and artifacts were considered as supplementary data. In this phenomenological research, the trustworthiness was examined through the consideration of three criteria (credibility, transferability, and dependability). A phenomenological data analysis was employed to analyze the data. A theoretical lens comprised of several supporting learning theories to the constructivism learning approach was utilized to analyze the results and provide insight on students’ learning experiences with e-books. Such learning theories include behaviorist learning theory (self-testing), cognitive load theory, information processing theory, social constructivism theory, dual coding theory, self-efficacy theory, and cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Five major themes and 16 sub themes emerged from participants' interpretations of their experiences with the use of e-books for learning. The five major themes were: (a) all students valued e-books, but nearly all students still prefer printed books; (b) e-books can enhance learning, but can hinder learning as well; (c) the impact of prior technological experience, knowledge, and confidence on learning and decision-making associated with e-books; (d) students preferred to use the given e-book to the given printed book; and (e) change to e-books recommended by students to better support learning. Research implications were drawn from the research findings for educators, students, developers of e-book readers, e-book authors, e-book publishers, and technology production companies. Implications could contribute to stakeholders’ understanding towards the root causes for students’ preference and reluctance to the use of e-books and the changes they need to see in e-books in order to use them more when they aim to learn. Finally, recommendations for future research were provided.


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Available for download on Thursday, May 23, 2019