Despite the many improvements in the digital domain, knowledge workers still frequently switch between digital and analog materials and tools during their work. In doing so, they accept "switching costs" (such as time and resources) to perform active reading and related activities in their preferred (analog) environment. Previous studies show that active reading is more efficient using analog materials and tools than using digital ones. However, up to now, it is not fully understood what exactly leads to the superiority of analog active reading over digital active reading.
The goal of this thesis is to directly compare the behaviors and strategies employed by users during active reading of multiple documents in analog and digital environments. This comparison serves to gain more detailed insights into which (sub-)areas of active reading (annotating, highlighting, note-taking, and spatial organization) are different in the two environments, what might be possible reasons for these differences, and most importantly, how to improve the experience of digital active reading in the future. As part of the comparison, it is also possible to determine whether analog active reading is still more efficient than digital active reading when using a large screen that provides a similar amount of space as an analog workstation.
Thus, in a qualitative, controlled, partly confirmatory, partly exploratory, user study, users' behaviors and strategies during active reading of multiple documents in analog and digital environments are compared to investigate the previously mentioned aspects. The results show that analog active reading is still more efficient than digital active reading despite the use of a large screen. Additionally, the evaluation was able to identify differences in behaviors and adaptations of strategies used due to the accessibility and availability of tools. In particular, there is still considerable potential for improvement in the area of spatial organization during digital active reading.