Royal use online learning rather than printed



Royal University of Phnom Penh

Institute of Foreign Languages

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Department of English



      I.          Statement of Problem

Both Royal University of Law and Economic (RULE) and Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) have good libraries in their school which provide students with enough information to use as sources of information. But, it is assumed that undergraduate students use online learning rather than printed materials. By saying online learning and paper-based mean students depend on the internet more than library respectively. However, we personally still have doubt about that issue and I think many undergraduate students still prefer going to the library. Therefore, to clear all the doubt that we have, we decide to conduct a research of that issue and to see whether other people’s assumption is right or ours. Participants will be given questionnaires and time to do it. We will randomly select the participants in both RULE and PUC. I believe that after the research is done, not only will our question will be answered, the students and the schools themselves will also benefit through the research. Students and school will have a chance to find out the preference of the student and the reason why one mode of studying is used more than other one. And by knowing this, they can either improve the other mode to balance their school or focus on one mode that students like the most.


    II.          Literature Review

1.     The Review of relate Literature

1.1  Student’s Tendency toward each mode of learning

According to a study that was conducted by Carol Perruso to determine undergraduates’ Use of Google vs. Library Resources. The researcher chose a longitudinal-panel methodology interview the participants using the same question¬naires which enables to observe relationships across time rather than relationships at one point in time. (Norman B. Ryder). The researcher collected the data by doing survey of 4,606 incoming fresh¬men in fall 2008 by visiting randomly selected to ensure that each member had the equal chance of being selected. The study aims to determine what resources students use when they do their research and what resources provided the majority of the information they seek for their paper. The researchers designed 10 questions to develop their Research Habits Survey. The study found that the majority of freshmen in this study reported that Google or other websites was popular for academic research. In their first semester, 69 percent of students indicate that they started doing their research with Google and only 30 percent started doing their researchwith library resources while few students mentioning other resources. However, during the eight semesters, the percentage of students using library to start doing their research raised from 30 to 45 percent. At the same time, there was a change in the 69 percent of students reported using web as the source of information for their papers.

The result in Ziming Liu’s study shows that 84.2% of respondents use electronic source most of the time, compared to only 54.2% use printed source most of the time. The use of electronic source is higher among students who study in business and computer science. In contrast, those who study in LIS (Library and Information Science) and social science tend to use printed source more frequently than electronic source. Most of respondents report that even if they prefer electronic source but they still print that electronic document out which is easier for them to read than computer screen (Ziming Liu, 2004).

According to Ziming Liu, most of the students prefer to use electronic sources rather than printed material as their source of information for their school assignments and essay. They use electronic sources more frequently than printed source (Ziming Liu,2004)




1.2  Influent factors on student preferences

Online reading material for academic purpose has been used widely among university of Manitoba students. Surprisingly, a study was conducted by Tim Podosky and Karen Soiferman (2016), the results shown that majority of student still preferred traditional style of reading. 61students (32 undergraduate, 29 graduate) at University of Manitoba were participants that questioned in this research study. 85.5% of total participants indicated that they preferred to read paper form and only 14.8% person chose to read online source when they were asked whether they would like to read textbook on paper form or online. Then the respondents were asked to give the explanation about their preference. Three are five main reasons that answered by the participants:(1) paper-base is easier to annotate (2) reading printed source is more convenient for their eyes (3) they accustomed to carry document by hands (4) paper-based give them spatial understanding of where they were in the text (5) student were easily got distracted while reading online source because they were likely to entice into other websites.

The subject discipline is another factor that can influence students to choose one source of leaning over another. However, it is not only subject discipline that can affect student’s preference, availability and convince can also influence them (Ziming, 2004).

           In term of navigation textual landscape, printed books are likely to have more vivid topography than onscreen text are. Obviously, an open paperback consists of the left and right page and oriented itself with its eight corner which make the reader can concentrate without losing sight of the whole text on a single page. Whereas, the reader find it is little harder create a coherent mental map on screen. (Jabr, 2013).



1.3 Comprehension between paper and screen

Despite of convenient and ease way of digital reading mode ( screen ), Reading on the screen exhausts the reader mentally than reading on the paper does because after reading on the screen, the readers find it is slightly difficult to remember what they have read. the majority of people’s minds are more conductive when they use printed material than approach the digital material.(Jabr, 2013) “maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading-as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection. I would like to preserve the absolute best of older form, but know when to use the new ” say developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University

With a resembling result, Kate Garland in 2013 conducted a research study with 50 British college students. She asked the participants to read on the study material about  an introductory economics course in 20 minutes. The participant can read on computer monitor or in spiral-bound booklet. Then she told the students to do the multiple-choice questions. Either students who read on computer monitor or students who read in spiral-bound booklet got similar results but differed in term of memorizing the information. Moreover, participants who read on the computer monitor depended on their memorizing than understanding. Whereas the respondents who read on paper tended to quickly absorb the information on the text more quickly and more thoroughly. (Garland, 2013)


  III.          Research Questions

1.     Do undergraduate students at two local universities (PUC and RULE) prefer printed materials in libraries or online learning modes?

2.     Between printed materials in libraries and online learning modes, which one do the students participants use more often as a source of information for completing academic tasks?

3.     What factors influence the student participants to choose one mode of learning over the other?


  IV.          Objectives:

1.     To figure out the preference between paper-based and online learning among undergraduate students at two local universities (PUC and RULE)

2.     To find out whether students prefer to use paper-based or online learning as a source of information.

3.     To determine what factors that encourage undergraduate students to choose one mode in learning over the other.


    V.          Methodology

1.     Research Design

This research study is conducted by using cross-sectional design aiming to figure out the preferences between printed material or online learning mode that university students use for completing academic purposes. The questionnaire will be done with participants only once due to the time allowance. In order to collect the data from participants, quantitative approach will be used in this research study since the researchers think about the time and financial limits to get data from the participants.


2.     Ethical Consideration

The research will be conducted only with the willingness of the participants who would like to do either or both questionnaire and interview without any force from the researchers. Also, the information that we get from the participants will be kept confidentially and accessed by the researchers with morality. We, the researcher will make sure that there will be no harm to the participants who take part in our research.


3.     Research Instrument

The researchers will do the survey by providing the questions to the respondents to explore the preference of the students in choosing one learning mode over another and how often they use each of the mode. The questionnaire will be divided into three sections: (1) The respondents have to fill some brief personal information, (2) They

have to answer the questions relating to our research topic and (3) They can add some comment in survey papers if they want (this section is optional)


4.     Sample of the study

The study will be taken place in Royal University of Law and Economic (RULE) and Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC). The researchers will do the questionnaire with  the students from two local universities  and  200 of the population

will be randomly chosen from freshman to senior students in both universities in morning shift (100 from RULE students and 100 from PUC students). 3 participants of each university will be interview by their willingness to do it.


5.     Data Collection

The questionnaire will be randomly given by the researchers to those selected 200 participants which are 100 from RULE and 100 from PUC in morning shift to discover their choices toward these two learning modes and the factors that influences their choices. And 6 participants to so in depth interview.

6.     Data Analysis

The researchers use SPSS (Statistic Package for Social Sciences) to analyze the data that we get from the 200 participants.


7.     Issue and Limitation of the study

The research study will be conducted in two big local in Cambodia which will be difficult to process the data if we select the sample such a big amount. Moreover, there are so many universities in Cambodia. Therefore, the data that we collect will be based on the two universities only and we do not guarantee that undergraduate students in other universities in Cambodia will have the same or similar preference of accessing information in their study.


8.     Research Timeframe









Kumah, C, H. (2015, December). A comparative study of use of the library and the internet as

source of information by graduate students in the university of ghana. Retrieved from

Perruso, C. (2016, September). Undergraduates’ use of google vs. library resources: a four-

year cohort study.  Retrieved from

Jabr, F. (2013, April). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American. Retrieved from /article/reading-paper-screens/

Garland , K. (2013). VDT versus paper-based text: reply to Myes, Sims and koonce . 411-423. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from

Poldolsky, T., & Soiferman, K. (2014, September 29). Student Academic Reading Preferences: A Study of Online Reading Habits and Inclinations . Retrieved from

Liu , Z. (2005). Printed vs. electronic resource: a study user perception, preferences ,and use . 583-592. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from