Digital versus paper-based foreign-language vocabulary learning and testing: A study-test medium congruency effect

Vered Halamish, Dorit Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is an ongoing transition in education from paper-based learning and testing to digital learning and testing. The purpose of the present research was to examine whether the relative effectiveness of digital and paper-based learning depends on the medium of testing in the context of foreign-language vocabulary learning. In a controlled experiment, young adults (N = 79) studied and practiced novel foreign-language vocabulary words using two study methods (restudying or retrieval practice) and were then tested on their memory for these words to assess learning. The study medium and the test medium were either congruent (i.e., paper-based learning and testing; digital learning and testing) or incongruent (paper-based learning and digital testing; digital learning and paper-based testing). The results revealed a study-test medium congruency effect: Paper-based learning yielded better test performance than digital learning when the test was conducted on paper, but this effect was eliminated when the test was digital. This effect may have important practical educational implications as it challenges common practices for vocabulary learning such as using digital tools to study vocabulary for on-paper memory tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104606
JournalComputers and Education
Volume190
Early online date10 Aug 2022
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Digital vs. paper-based learning
  • Metacognition
  • Study-test medium congruency
  • Vocabulary learning

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