Computer vs paper-based tasks: Are they equivalent?

Submitted by: Phil Riebel 10/20/2013

In 1992, Dillon published his critical review of the empirical literature on reading from paper vs. screen. However, the debate concerning the equivalence of computer- and paper-based tasks continues, especially with the growing interest in online assessment. This paper reviews the literature over the last 15 years and contrasts the results of these more recent studies with Dillon's findings. It is concluded that total equivalence is not possible to achieve, although developments in computer technology, more sophisticated comparative measures and more positive user attitudes have resulted in a continuing move towards achieving this goal.