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Assessments of Reading at Deeper Levels of Comprehension. Art Graesser Department of Psychology and the Institute for Intelligent Systems. Main Messages . We need assessments of reading comprehension that systematically tap deeper levels of comprehension.

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assessments of reading at deeper levels of comprehension

Assessments of Reading at Deeper Levels of Comprehension

Art Graesser

Department of Psychology and the Institute for Intelligent Systems

main messages
Main Messages
  • We need assessments of reading comprehension that systematically tap deeper levels of comprehension.
  • Good deep measures integrate reading skills/strategies with world knowledge and nonlinguistic components.
levels of language discourse
Graphemes and phonemes

Morphemes and words

Syntactic composition

Linguistic style and dialect

Explicit propositions

Referents of referring expressions

Common ground

Discourse focus versus presuppositions

Situation models & inferences

Embedded dialog

Configuration of multiple agents

Genre, registers, rhetorical structures

Plot configurations

Local and global coherence

Point of message -- theme

Goals and attitude of author

Five major categories(Kintsch, 1998; Graesser, Millis, & Zwaan, 1997)

Surface code

Propositional textbase

Situation model

Text genre and rhetorical structure

Pragmatic communication

Levels of Language & Discourse
slide5

Cognitive Processes

Bloom (1956)

Recognition

Evaluation

Recall

Synthesis

Comprehension

(Inference)

Application

Analysis

abstractness of content mosenthal 1996
Abstractness of Content (Mosenthal, 1996)
  • Most concrete: concrete person, action, thing
  • Highly concrete: observable attributes (action, types, attributes, amounts)
  • Intermediate: Procedures, goals, and manner
  • Highly abstract: cause, effect, reason, evidence
  • Most abstract: inferred theories & themes
slide7
Good Questions that Tap Pragmatic Communication (Questioning the Author , Beck, McKeown, Hamilton, & Kucan, 1997)
  • What is the author trying to tell you?
  • Why is the author telling you that?
  • Does the author say it clearly?
  • How could the author have said things more clearly?
  • What would you say instead?
slide8

Domain Knowledge

Wisher & Graesser (2007)

People

(Agents)

Other

Taxonomies

Causal

Networks

Spatial

Layout

Compositional

Structure

Procedures

& Plans

slide9
Deep-Level Reasoning Questions

(Graesser and Person,1994)

LEVEL 1: SIMPLE or SHALLOW

1. Verification Is X true or false? Did an event occur?

2. Disjunctive Is X, Y, or Z the case?

3. Concept completion Who? What? When? Where?

4. Example What is an example or instance of a category?

LEVEL 2: INTERMEDIATE

5. Feature specification What qualitative properties does entity X have?

6. Quantification What is the value of a quantitative variable? How much?

7. Definition questions What does X mean?

8. Comparison How is X similar to Y? How is X different from Y?

LEVEL 3: COMPLEX or DEEP

9. Interpretation What concept/claim can be inferred from a pattern of data?

10. Causal antecedent Why did an event occur?

11. Causal consequence What are the consequences of an event or state?

12. Goal orientation What are the motives or goals behind an agent’s action?

13. Instrumental/procedural What plan or instrument allows an agent to accomplish a goal?

14. Enablement What object or resource allows an agent to accomplish a goal?

15. Expectation Why did some expected event not occur?

16. Judgmental What value does the answerer place on an idea or advice?

analysis of 120 multiple choice questions in cognitive psychology
Analysis of 120 Multiple Choice Questions in Cognitive Psychology
  • 120 MCQ items of cognitive psychology textbooks
    • 4 test banks
    • 30 items per textbook
  • Items coded on the level in Graesser & Person taxonomy.
challenges
Challenges
  • How can we promote more diversity in the landscape of questions?
  • How can we encourage deeper questions?
  • How do we change:
    • Textbook writers
    • Professors & teachers
    • Students
cognitive and behavioral tests in experimental psychology
OFF-LINE

Recall

Summarization

Retrospective think aloud

Recognition tests

Cloze procedure

Multiple choice tests

Sentence verification

Question asking & answering

Response signal paradigm

Ratings

Word sorting

ON-LINE

Immediate think aloud

Self-paced reading times

Eye tracking

Word naming latencies

Lexical decision latencies

RSVP-SOA

Physiological recordings

fMRI

Evoked potential

Cognitive and Behavioral Tests in Experimental Psychology
open ended questions
Open-ended Questions

The sun exerts a gravitational force on the earth as the earth moves in its orbit around the sun. Does the earth pull equally on the sun?Explain why?

EXPECTATIONS

The sun exerts a gravitational force on the earth.

The earth exerts a gravitational force on the sun.

The two forces are a third-law pair.

The magnitudes of the two forces are the same.

MISCONCEPTIONS

Only the larger object exerts a force.

The force of earth on sun is less than that of

the sun on earth.

virtues of the multiple choice format
Virtues of the Multiple Choice Format
  • Familiar to the educational enterprise
    • School systems
    • Textbook companies
    • Psychometric community
  • Easy to score
  • Objectively and systematically scored
  • Distracters add complexity
analytical schemes
Analytical Schemes
  • Categories of distractors
    • Near miss with pedagogical point (versus obscurity)
    • Thematic versus unrelated distracters
  • Relation to associated text
    • Local versus global
    • Explicit versus inference
    • Main rhetorical content versus details
  • Qualitative causal analysis
    • How does a change in A affect B?
    • Increase, decrease, no change, versus indeterminate
slide16

What happens to the pins when the key is turned to unlock the door?

    • A) they drop
    • B) they rise
    • C) they remain stationary
    • (Graesser & Olde, 2003)
closing comments
Closing Comments
  • Rand Reading Study Group (Snow, 2002) emphasized comprehension
    • Text
    • Reader
    • Activities
    • Sociocultural context
  • Training effective strategies of reading comprehension requires analysis of world knowledge and deeper levels of processing (edited by McNamara, 2007)