Behavior of Science and Engineering Students to Digital Reading: Educational Disruption and Beyond

Sherif Welsen, Dariusz Wanatowski, Duo Zhao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the impact of digital reading during educational disruption on science and engineering students’ learning experience. Before the pandemic, some studies explored whether university students preferred using printed or digital resources for their academic readings. Amidst the pandemic, online learning became essential. Several studies showed students’ preference for printed text. This paper extends a pilot study that was conducted during the first COVID-19 wave in China. A survey consisting of Likert questions and open questions was designed using MS-Forms. The survey was shared with the science and engineering students in Years 2–4 (Levels 1–3) of their study at SWJTU-Leeds Joint School, Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China. This covered students from four undergraduate programs: Civil Engineering with Transport, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science. In total, 223 students participated in this study. The survey was anonymous and was made available to students for a month. The participation rate is nearly 27%. Findings indicate that the behavior of science and engineering students toward digital reading was different than other majors, and it is generally favorable. The necessity for online learning during educational disruption has encouraged some students to develop their digital reading skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number484
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • digital reading
  • educational disruption
  • science and engineering education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


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