Comparing Student high and low Reading Performance with Differentiated Digital Reading Materials




differentiation, digital materials, reading skills, screencast analysis, primary school


The present study investigates eight Grade-4 classes (9- to 12-year-olds, 52.1% girls) who worked on at least 10 lessons using project RegioDiff material. The study focuses on one of these lessons (including nine text passages and corresponding tasks) and on students with low (19 students, percentile <15) and high reading skills (29 students, percentile > 70). While students were working with the material, screencasts were recorded (30h). The construct “task performance” (processing time, response accuracy, and task engagement) was then analysed using the screencasts.

The analysis revealed that the two groups differed significantly in the processing time of two tasks, but not in the total time spent on all nine tasks. Significant differences were revealed also for general task engagement. Task engagement was highly correlated with processing time. Participants with higher reading skills spent more time on the tasks and were more engaged than participants with lower reading skills. However, we did not find any differences in terms of answer accuracy. This indicates that task difficulty and student reading skills were well matched.

The study also shows how tasks may be adapted or augmented in order to match the learning environment more closely to student learning needs.