Comprehension of marketing research textbooks among South African students: an investigation
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Reading is a skill people require in order to operate successfully in all spheres of life. Mastering this skill is even more critical when pursuing academic studies. This study investigated the reading comprehension of final year undergraduate marketing students at a South African higher education institution (HEI) relating to their comprehension of marketing research textbooks. Two measurement instruments were used to test their reading comprehension. One instrument contained two passages from the respondents' prescribed marketing research textbook and the other two passages from a comparative international textbook. Following the Cloze procedure, every 9th word was removed from the passages and respondents were subsequently required to complete the non-subject related words in one of the instruments fielded on a random basis. The results indicated that the majority of respondents exhibited a reading comprehension that is at the frustration reading level. A further evaluation that allowed for synonyms (Semantically Acceptable Scoring Method or SEMAC) to be included, did not impact meaningfully on the classification of respondents. Significant differences in reading comprehension could also not be uncovered based upon the respondents' gender and home language. The results furthermore presented challenges for all those involved in higher education (HE), more specifically impacting on textbook choice as well as assessment and performance practices.