EXPRESS: The Effects of Digital Textbooks on Students’ Academic Performance, Academic Interest, and Learning Skills
The advances in ICTs and the digitization of services offer new ways to reach, engage with, and provide services to consumers. Recent advances in technology have fueled the rapid growth of digitization in education, and the education industry has witnessed radical changes in the provision and delivery of its products and services. 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 the effects of digital textbooks on students’ academic outcomes. The authors employ a panel regression model with teacher fixed-effects, propensity score weighting method, and instrumental variable strategy to find that greater usage of digital textbooks in class improves students’ academic performance, academic interest, and learning skills. The authors explore the heterogeneity in the utilization effect across student levels to find greater improvements in academic performance for low-achieving students. The findings have important managerial and policy implications for major stakeholders in the education sector, including teachers, school administrators, students, and policymakers.
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