Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2015


Over the past 20 years, the faculty and administration of colleges and universities have been debating how technology will change the face of higher education in delivering content to students. Associated with the discussion is research on the acceptability of various devices (e.g. desk-top computers, laptop computers, e-readers, tablets) as replacements for paper textbooks. In most studies, students report their preference for paper textbooks over digital materials for studying and learning. A recent Canadian study examined the preference for paper textbooks. In this study, we repeat key areas of that study with Israeli students and collect comparison data using an online survey. Students in both countries believe that paper textbooks better support their learning and studying processes and are more likely to lead to academic success. However, we note some differences in terms of the Israeli students being less distracted when online, and reporting greater comfort using digital content when searching for information. What has been overlooked in the change from paper to digital delivery of information is how students will make the transition from learning and studying on paper to digital only or simultaneous use of both paper and digital. This study provides ideas as to how educators can better support students and areas where additional research is needed.