According types which correspond to the four senses in

According to Neil Fleming
and Colleen Mill’s VARK model of learning (1992), there are four major learning
types which correspond to the four senses in the human body that process

Visual Learner – have a
preference for seeing (think in pictures; visual aids that represent ideas
using methods other than words, such as graphs, charts, diagrams, symbols,
etc.). Visual learning strategies can also be found in textbooks
particularly when textbooks include graphs, charts and concept maps that
illustrate the topics. Aural/Auditory
learners: best learn through listening (lectures, discussions, tapes,
etc.) The Aural preference includes talking out loud as well as talking to
oneself. In a classroom setting, auditory learnReading?writing
preference learners: This preference emphasizes text?based
input and output ? reading and writing in
all its forms but especially manuals, reports, essays and assignments.Kinesthetic learners or
tactile learner: prefer to learn via experience—moving, touching, and
doing (active exploration of the world; science projects; experiments,

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These learning types have
been widely considered by various educators and institutions throughout the
years as they serve as a guide in their teaching strategies. They are used in
determining which learning style is best suitable and understandable for the
students. However, among the four major types of learning, the most popular style
in terms of usage is the reading-writing preference which deals with reading
materials such as the textbook itself.

Textbooks present the
samples of culture – samples of knowledge that competent adults in a certain
culture have selected, classified and didactically shaped as organized systems
of knowledge (Ivic, 1988). Textbooks play a vital role in every society in the
world as their usage comes in variations. In line with this research, textbooks
proved to be essential in a student’s learning process. Over the course of
years, they have been a prerequisite in every curriculum as they serve as a
learning aid for students of all ages.  

According to Psihologija
(2003), textbook itself is a powerful cultural tool that mediates and promotes:

thinking operations and
intellectual activities, different in logical psychological nature. adoption of many
socially created techniques and strategies of intellectual functioning and
behavior andestablishment of a
“culture” of using textbooks and other socio-cultural sources of


However, there has been an
ongoing debate on whether textbooks are still relevant today considering the
technological progression which paved way for digital alternatives such as
audiobooks and electronic books and the like.

Lenon (2015) puts forth in
his article on the impact of textbooks in education that Richard
Culatta, of the US Department for Education, said the many digital resources
available will soon make textbooks obsolete. It is already evident that with
the rapid progression of technology, the usage of traditional tools such as
textbooks may come to a halt after digital alternatives takes their place.
Futurist Kelly (2006) also stated that, in the near future, “all new works will
be born digital.” However, despite the anticipation, studies on this subject
matter points out that, disregarding the fact that electronic books are
progressive tools that benefits more people in their studies, physical
textbooks still remain better as a learning tool.

Electronic books arguably
also have certain advantages. According to Cox (2004) E-books can effectively
support an academic mission by saving time, adding value as a collective online
reference, and enabling dynamic and cost-effective collection management.
Unlike physical books, electronic books are also more accessible as they are
available 24 hours a day. Dennis et al. (2008) also stated in his study that an
e-book usually has fairly short articles that can be displayed on a few
screens, and reading at a computer monitor is acceptable to most users under
e-library systems. In addition, students like the lightness and portability of
e-book devices, as well as navigation capability, ease of use, storage
capacity, and the use of e-ink for displaying content on the screen (Gibson and
Gibb, 2011).

However, despite these
advantages on using electronic books, it is also proven that there has been
negative effects on this mode of reading as well, which makes textbooks still
the better learning tool among the two. This issue has to do with poor
legibility, intrinsic complexity, and poor design (Dillon, 1994). For instance,
according to Nielsen (2000), reading on a standard computer display is more
error prone and is approximately 20% slower than reading on paper.

The following studies are also
proofs that physical textbooks are still relevant today and how electronic
books have its negative effects:

study by Macedo-Rouet et al. (2003) presented findings from 47 undergraduate
university students. It revealed that e-book readers obtained slightly lower
comprehension scores than p-book readers. Another study according to Mayes et
al. (2001), who collected data from 50 students from the University of Bristol,
states that reading from a p-book is significantly faster, and slower on-screen
reading was a strategy conducted by participants to ensure that the content was
comprehended. Lastly, According to a study by Carusi (2006), readers’
concentration becomes increasingly fragmentary when reading e-books, and the
readers studied were easily distracted by surface features.