Marmarelli, T. and Ringle, M. (2011) The Reed College iPad study Portland OR: Reed College
Marmarelli, T. and Ringle, M. (2009) The Reed College Kindle study Portland OR: Reed College
Reed College has conducted two studies of e-readers. ‘During fall semester 2010, students in an upper division course are using the iPad to read the assigned books and articles. The course, Political Science 422: Nuclear Politics — The origins and effects of the spread of nuclear weapons, is one of the classes that took part in Reed’s study of the Amazon Kindle DX during fall 2009.’
The investigators found that the iPad considerably out-performed the Kindle as a study aid. It was better for navigation, note-taking, highlighting, and, to a lesser extent, annotation.
Nevertheless, the iPad still has some severe limitations for study purposes: moving between applications, finding files quickly, handling and annotating pdf files, and the keyboard is too cumbersome/slow for note-taking.
Also note that the iPad was tested as a supplement to traditional classroom teaching, rather than thinking about how the teaching could be re-designed to maximize the affordances of the iPad.
See also: Ferenstein, G. (2011) Apple’s iPad Officially Passes the Higher Education Test [Exclusive], FastCompany, February 14