Focus Group StudyE-book Readers for the academic Environment RisaTeshigawara, Veronica Gomez December 19th, 2012
Introduction • Many people use e-book readers instead of carrying paper books around with them. • It is rare to see university students using e-book readers for class or to study with. • e-book readers appear to be used mainly leisure reading *Pew Research Center for the People and Press
Objective of this Study • To discuss how e-book readers can be improved in order to be used in academic environments • To gather useful information, such as student and faculty opinions, suggestions, and ideas for e-book readers
Research Questions • What are the advantages and disadvantages that the use of e-book readers may provide to students? • Are there hardware and/or software improvements that can be made to e-book readers to make them better suited for academic use? • What functionalities should e-book readers offer to be most useful for students?
Setting • Place: Classroom PV-1 @ AUP • Time: November 15th, 2012 • 15:20 – 16:40
Participants • A total of 6 participants were comprised of students and faculty. • A Computer Science professor was invited in order to provide insight from a faculty perspective • 2 Librarians attended and contributed their opinions
Pre-focus group questionnaire • Name • E-mail Address • Gender • Age • Academic Year • Major/ Faculty Position • Which tools/resources do you use to complete your class assignments? • Do you own an e-book reader? If so, which one? • If you do not have an e-book reader, which device have you used to read?
Result of the questionnaire Information resources and tools most used by participants.
Results of Device TestingNexus 7 Pros Cons Feels heavy for the size of the device The text to speech option was difficult to deactivate Touch screen is intimidating since a few errors were made when attempting to flip the page or use another feature Bright backlit screen is tiring on the eyes Clumsy highlighting buttons • Attractive screen display • Wi-Fi access • Page flipping animation is clear • Fast • Able to change font quickly • Easier to concentrate when reading versus Sony reader • Easy to bookmark a page
Results of Device TestingSony PRS-T2 Pros Cons Slow Difficult to bookmark a page Difficult to tell when a page has been flipped and the flickering of the screen, which indicated a page flip gives the impression that, the battery of the device is dying Need for two hands when using the device • Lightweight and compact
Features requested by participants for an improved e-book reader Hardware Software Internet access Online dictionary resource Translation of words Citation Easy annotations Create notes and bookmarks Ability to switch the device interface language Text to speech feature so that you can listen to a book hands-free • Large storage capacity • Resistance of the devices • Have two separate physical screens just like paper books so that two different applications may be opened and viewed at the same time
Would you buy an e-book reader for academic use? • Regardless of the improvements that the participants had themselves suggested, a majority felt that they would still not purchase an e-book reader Chart 3: Percentage of participants who would buy an ideal e-book reader satisfying all the requirements they had expressed.
Discussion • current e-book readers do not meet the needs and wants of the majority of the academic community. • Even if e-book readers were adapted to include the list of desired features expressed by participants, it would not ensure that their old study/work habits would be adaptable to a new electronic portable version
Conclusion • Most of the participants would not use the devices for academic use • Students are more used to reading on the paper books. • There were only 6 participants, so a research with more people involved would have better results