As school networks get more available, reading instruction in a computer classroom has become more and more popular in China. Although information and communication technology (ICT) has brought about some improvements in classroom teaching, it must be admitted that the phenomenon of fast reading with low-level cognitions is threatening school children's reading literacy. In order to address this problem, a collaborative annotation tool called Sharing Unique Reading Feeling (SURF) was developed for creating and sharing annotations. This study explored SURF-based collaborative reading instruction, and investigated the effect of collaborative annotation supported by SURF on primary school students' Chinese reading levels with methods of equal group experiment, interview and comparative analysis. Finally, some suggestions were proposed for the development of instructional annotation tools and the implementation of current reading instruction especially in computer classrooms. Results showed that the collaborative annotation supported by SURF could promote students' reading performance, enhance their Chinese reading levels in primary schools, and it was also helpful to develop the higher-level cognitive abilities such as analyzing, summarizing and evaluating.
What is already known about this topic
- • Annotation could improve students' reading and writing.
- • Annotation could enhance reading comprehension.
- • Full annotation sharing could improve learning outcome.
- • Reading passages with hypermedia annotations significantly benefited passage comprehension and vocabulary.
What this paper adds
- • Collaborative annotation could enhance Chinese reading levels in primary schools of China, and is very helpful in addressing the issue of surface reading in Chinese class.
- • Collaborative annotation is also helpful to develop higher-level cognitive abilities such as analyzing, summarizing and evaluating.
Implications for practice and/or policy
- • Collaborative reading assisted by annotation tool should be given profound attention and be applied more generally.
- • Collaboration is rather significant in developing students' reading literacy, but abuse of collaboration will be a waste of time and will not get good effect.
- • Do not lose the dominant role of teachers, because excessive freedom for students will result in failure in achieving teaching objectives.
- • Some competition activities (eg, setting up Reading Stars, giving little and red flowers) should be provided to inspire students to do annotating passionately and seriously.
- • The Ministry of Education in China should actively encourage Chinese teachers in primary and secondary schools to implement annotation reading instruction in computer classrooms.
- • Some wonderful annotation tools just like SURF should be developed and generalized in a larger scope supported by the government.