A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at James Madison University, states that “self-reports of multi-tasking were significantly higher for [students using e-textbooks] in the home condition, possibly accounting for the disparities in [higher] reading time.” The study compared performances of students who read a print textbook or e-textbook, in a laboratory or at home. In both situations, students spent more time finishing the chapter on the e-textbook than on the printed one, indicating the possibility of students’ multitasking during the reading process. When the students were quizzed on the chapter material after reading, their performances were slightly different. Those who read a print textbook scored lower than those who read an e-textbook by 5%.
Despite the tendency for multitasking, using e-textbooks can potentially lead to better academic performance. Tablets are hence a viable and serviceable medium of education.