Undesirable Difficulties: Investigating Barriers to Students’ Learning with Ebooks in a Semester-length Course

Cindy Pierard, Vanessa Svihla, Susanne K. Clement, Bing-Shan Fazio


Our ability to make informed decisions about ebooks is constrained by our limited understanding of how students perceive and use them. A team of librarians and a professor in learning sciences asked graduate students to serve as informants on student experience with ebooks. We analyzed student work in two semester-long studies, focusing on barriers and affordances they identified. In the first cohort, students who chose to explore ebooks uncovered affordances. In the second cohort, student comfort levels with PDF formats increased, while comfort with ebooks decreased. We discuss strategies for minimizing challenges and increasing desirable difficulties to support ebooks as learning tools.

Full Text:

Copyright Cindy Pierard, Vanessa Svihla, Susanne K. Clement, Bing-Shan Fazio

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Article Views (Last 12 Months)

No data available

Contact ACRL for article usage statistics from 2010-April 2017.

Article Views (By Year/Month)

January: 58
February: 55
March: 64
April: 62
May: 44
January: 47
February: 84
March: 63
April: 57
May: 58
June: 72
July: 64
August: 47
September: 65
October: 93
November: 80
December: 16
January: 0
February: 3
March: 628
April: 252
May: 83
June: 96
July: 53
August: 101
September: 55
October: 69
November: 97
December: 63