Our paper entitled “Evaluating Engagement in Reading: Comparing Children and Adult Assessors” was pubblished at IDC16.


This paper describes the findings of a study into how children engage with and enjoy reading digital stories. We considered stories created by children with an application called Fiabot! that we designed to support the creation of multimedia fairy tales in school. We asked a group of 25 volunteers, aged 9 to 12, to act as assessors and read the multimedia fairy tales with the aim of uncovering the key factors that contribute to making stories more engaging for young readers. The same stories were also previously evaluated by teachers who looked at specific quality indicators derived from the educational goals of the fairy tale making exercise. Here we report on how children and adults had very different views on what makes a story engaging. By looking at their contrasting opinions we could get a deeper understanding of the factors and dimensions of engagement that influence the overall enjoyment of a story.  This paper ends by discussing how we could use these findings to design more engaging multimedia stories and enhanced eBooks that would be both educational and fun to read.