The Effects of Digital Textbooks on Students’ Academic Performance, Academic Interest, and Learning Skills

51 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019 Last revised: 4 Oct 2019

See all articles by Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Ju-Ho Lee

KDI School of Public Policy and Management

Youngsik Jeong

Jeonju National University of Education

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 27, 2018

Abstract

Digital textbooks, which are equipped with various learning resources including multimedia aids, assessment questions, and hyperlinks to external resources, can be an important channel for harnessing technologies in classrooms. Korea’s digital textbook experiment provides a unique empirical setting to examine multiple effects—utilization, earliness, and cumulative effects—that digital textbooks have on students’ academic performance, academic interest, and learning skills. We employ a propensity score weighting method and instrumental variable strategy to find that greater usage of digital textbooks in class improves students’ academic outcomes (i.e. utilization effect). For example, students’ social studies grades increase by a 0.30 standard deviation and science grades increase by a 0.37 standard deviation. We also find greater improvements in academic performance for low-achieving students. We additionally exploit a unique natural experiment setting and use a difference-in-differences strategy to find that students who started using digital textbooks at an earlier age show greater improvements in their academic outcomes (i.e. earliness effect). Furthermore, we examine whether greater cumulative exposure to digital textbooks improves students’ academic outcomes (i.e. cumulative effect).

Keywords: digital textbooks, academic performance, academic interest, learning skills

JEL Classification: I20, I28

Suggested Citation

Lee, Stephanie and Lee, Ju-Ho and Jeong, Youngsik, The Effects of Digital Textbooks on Students’ Academic Performance, Academic Interest, and Learning Skills (November 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3305481

Stephanie Lee (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States

Ju-Ho Lee

KDI School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 184
Seoul, 130-868
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
+82 2 3299 1016 (Phone)

Youngsik Jeong

Jeonju National University of Education ( email )

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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