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UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ READING PLATFORM PREFERENCES AND POTENTIAL REASONS

Z. Kazanci, E. Bada

Cukurova University (TURKEY)
Platforms for reading and writing have been continuously changing since their first invention as clay tablets. Most recently, the digital platform surfaces itself as a viable medium widely used for reads such as books, magazines, newspapers, and course books. Today’s readers generally have the option to choose between printed paper and digital screen. Despite this fact, in certain situations, readers usually find themselves obliged to read either from paper or from a digital screen. Thus, the purpose of this study is firstly to survey reading platform preferences of Turkish university students, and secondly to identify the potential reasons underlying such preferences with a focus on gender and department variation.

For this, a total of 170 university students from the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Engineering, Çukurova University, were administered a questionnaire investigating readers’ reading platforms and potential reasons. The collected data was analyzed and results demonstrated that a majority of students expressed preferences in favor of reading from paper rather than from digital screens. The analysis also illustrated that gender and department variation did not affect readers’ choice of reading medium.

As for preference reasons related to reading from paper, students highlighted that:
(1) they comprehended the text much better on paper; that
(2) reading from screen caused eye-strain, and that
(3) they could easily take notes on paper, which was something much more difficult to do on screen.

With this study we discovered that today’s Turkish youth, although surrounded by a plethora of devices with digital screens from which they hardly can detach themselves, they still preferred to utilize traditional and conventional paper when it came to reading. We believe that this piece of research, with its implications, sheds some light onto prospective developments in this particular area.