Digital books for early years and primary school aged children

Dr Natalia Kucirkova | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Criteria for evaluating digital books

If you would like to use digital books in your classroom, you need to first choose the right book. There are several rubrics and evaluation criteria available for evaluating and assessing digital books. The choice of a rubric/of the evaluation criteria will depend on your learning goals and teaching objectives. Do you want the app/digital book to support children’s reading for pleasure or digital literacy or perhaps writing skills? Here are some rubrics currently available.

These journal articles contain research-based guidance: (There are different ways you might access articles. For example, in England your local library can order articles and books for you, in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, members of the General Teaching Council shave access to academic databases. )

Hirsh-Pasek, K., Zosh, J. M., Golinkoff, R. M., Gray, J. H., Robb, M. B., & Kaufman, J. (2015). Putting Education in “Educational” Apps Lessons From the Science of Learning. Psychological Science in the Public Interest16(1), 3-34.

Kucirkova, N., Littleton, K. & Cremin, T. (2016) Young children’s reading for pleasure with digital books: six key facets of engagement, Cambridge Journal of Education, published online before print, doi:10.1080/0305764X.2015.1118441

Roskos, K., Brueck, J., & Widman, S. (2009). Investigating analytic tools for e-book design in early literacy learning. Journal of Interactive Online Learning,8(3), 218-240.

Examples of criteria and ratings follow:

1. A rubric for evaluating the potential of digital books to support reading for pleasure (or reading for enjoyment) was developed by The Open University for Book Trust in 2015 and is currently used for judging the UKLA Children's Digital Book Award, the only award of this guide judged entirely by teachers. An adapted version of these criteria is available on the UK National Literacy Trust teaching apps website. Teacher ratings of UKLA Children’s Digital Book Award are included here:

2. Parent ratings of digital books are included here (some appear under literacy apps)

3. Professionals’ Digital media and Education experts’ ratings. These reviews are undertaken by independent educational experts.