As we can see on the example of this course and other MOOC, the proportion of visual and textual content is different, than in "traditional" education. We need to deal with videos, pictures, collages, presentations etc., and they aren't just illustrations to text - they have their own role in education process.
In EDC MOOC we also have to read some text - some articles about technology and education. Most of them are represeted as html pages, not pdf files (which I personally would prefer). I have an idea, that the process of reading articles in this form slightly differs from the preocess of reading a common book or magazine.
- Scrolling up and down vs. turning pages over. Even when I read something important (not news or somebody's blog, but something for long reading), I prefer to download the text to my e-reader (where I can read from page to page) or even print it on paper. It seems to me, that when I scroll down, I lose a focus and spend a couple of seconds to find a place where I stopped)
- Making notes. Some text are worth active reading. You make notes, underline interesting places, or use highlighter, draw arrows linking ideas or concepts etc. (Maybe you know a good tool that allows to do such things in a browser? It would be nice to use it). Actually, when working on my degree paper, I bought a graphic tablet just for this purpose - to make free handwritten notes on very big anount of pdf books I need to work through. I see that technology can give new opportunities of making such notes (with certain advantages like using hypertext and links between notes), but hadn't find an appropriate tool yet.
- Non-verbal information. Even if the books contains just plain text, there are also other layers of information. I've read one article that shows, for example, that Comic Sans is better to use in textbooks for primary schools than Times New Roman, because is easier to read. I know also that some authors of fictional or phylosphycal works insisted that their books shoud be reprinted with exact font, spacing, division to pages etc. Because such things also affect reception of the book. In most cases when you read something at web-page, this layer of information is lost (especially if you don't have an AdBlock or similar app). The text is more flexible, but at the same time it loses partially its structure. And that's why I prefer PDF - it keeps all this features as it was intended by author.
What do you think? How the process of reading will change when people move more and more to reading web-pages and e-books from usual paper books and magazines? Will this changes affect the effectiveness of learning and of reading in general?