Processes of Meaning Construction During Multiple-Documents Reading (PhD project) (completed)
The aim of this project is to study the (possible) relationships between multiple-text comprehension, epistemic beliefs, and students strategy use while reading multiple documents.
About the project
Åste Marie Mjelve Hagens project is part of the larger project “Learning in a Knowledge Society: Constructing Meaning From Multiple Information Sources”. The aim of her project is, as mentioned above, to study the (possible) relationships between multiple-text comprehension, epistemic beliefs, and students strategy use while reading multiple documents. The idea is to get insight into the processes of multiple-text reading. The reading of multiple texts can be descibed as a challenging task, a task that requires intertextual strategies such as comparing, contrasting, and integrating information across documents. Research on text comprehension only recently began focusing on multiple texts and we know relatively little about the processes of multiple-text comprehension. Epistemic beliefs, that is, beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowing, have been found to relate to multiple-text comprehension. Generally, this body of research indicates that more naïve beliefs (e.g., that knowledge is certain and simple) are related to poorer comprehension performance.
- What characterises the relationship between epistemic beliefs and students strategy-use while reading multiple texts?
- How does students strategy use relate to their ability to construct meaning from multiple texts?
- To what degree are self-reported strategy use related to external strategy use when students read multiple texts?
Hagens project has a mixed methods design where I combine quantitative and qualitative methods. 227 students read seven separate texts discussing the issue of climate change. The texts contain partly conlicting information. Before reading the texts, students prior knowledge, interest, and epistemic beliefs are measured. After reading, we assess self-reported strategy use and text comprehension. We have three measures of text comprehension; one task created to measure students’ representation of the surface meaning of the texts, one test intended to measure students’ deeper understanding of single texts, and one task intended to measure students’ ability to draw inferences across the seven texts. The students were allowed to take notes while studying the texts. The notes are treated as a form of external representation of students strategy use.