Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Nancy Hulan (Director), Kandy Smith, and Jeremy Logsdon

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Master of Arts in Literacy Education


Many students enter college underprepared for the rigors of college-level reading, and these students are often placed in developmental courses. Furthermore, many students, with and without the developmental label, face challenges when reading online and in print, and research shows that these reading processes are not exactly the same. Research into new literacies finds that online reading comprehension gaps exist that are different from print reading. Varying reading strategies as well as metacognitive strategies can help assist students in successfully comprehending texts at the college level. This study investigated how explicit instruction in new literacy strategies impacts a reader’s ability to comprehend as well as their self-concept. The seven participants were 18-19-year-olds in a developmental college reading course at a Historically Black College and University in the Mid-South region. This university setting had elected to use all digital texts for courses. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews, and screencasts. The analysis of data shows that students need explicit instruction and practice in using new literacy strategies before, during, and after reading as well as instruction in digital platform navigation. Furthermore, students need opportunities to practice metacognitive strategies while reading online.


Curriculum and Instruction | Language and Literacy Education | Other Education