27 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Exhibition
General Poster Session during Lunch
Reading from multiple source documents is an important reading task that students have to confront in their college lives. Wineburg (1998) proposed that two levels of representations, the textbase and the event model, are build when the readers read multiple texts. The readers construct not only textbases according to the information provided by each text, but also an inter-textual situation model through integrating text information and the readers’ prior knowledge. That is, to understand the contents of multiple texts, the readers need to make choices about which information to attend to and to trust, and to compare and integrate related information across the texts (Strømsø, Bråten, & Samuelstuen, 2007; Wineburg, 1991).
The strategic processes that the readers adopt determine the kinds of representations built during reading of multiple texts (Wolfe & Goldman, 2005). When the readers use paraphrasing, the meaning of each individual text is constructed, but information across texts was not integrated. The readers can memorize the contents of each text, but it is difficult to make the inferences across texts or between each text and prior knowledge (Wolfe & Goldman, 2005).
Elaborations are the strategies for connecting what the readers know with information in the text. There are four kinds of elaborations: surface text connections, irrelevant associations, prediction, and self explanations (Wolfe & Goldman, 2005). These four kinds of elaborations contribute differently to constructing a coherent representation of the text. Surface text connections focus on the similarity of the surface of the text. Irrelevant associations focus on linking specific sentences in the text to particular information in one’s knowledge base. Both of these processes do not focus on the main ideas of the text and, thus, is not helpful for constructing the global meaning of the text. To make predictions about what will happen in the text, the readers need to integrate the content of the text and their prior knowledge and to build a situation model of the text. Self explanations are the readers’ explanations about what or how different concepts in the text or text content and prior knowledge relate to each other. Through predictions and self explanations, the readers can connect the contents of the texts or to connect prior knowledge with the texts, which lead to the building of the event model and, thus, a better understanding of the texts.
Research indicated that building of the event model during reading of multiple texts is rare for students across all learning stages. Students regardless of age rarely integrate information across texts or noting the source of the documents during reading of multiple texts (e.g. Rouet, Britt, Mason, & Perfetti, 1996; VanSledright & Kelly, 1998).
Considering the importance of the issue, it is surprising that no study about how students understand multiple texts has been done in Taiwan. Little is known about the strategic processes used by Taiwanese students when they read multiple texts. The purpose of this study is to examine the strategies used by college students when they read multiple sources of documents.
Rouet, J. F. (2006). The skills of document use: From text comprehension to Web-based learning. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Rouet, J. F., Britt, M. A., Mason, R. A., & Perfetti, C. A. (1996). Using multiple sources of evidence to reason about history. Journal of Educational Psychology. 88, 478-493. Rukavina, I., & Daneman, M. (1996). Integration and its effect on acquiring knowledge about competing scientific theories from text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 272-287. Stahl, S. A., Hynd, C. R., Britton, B. K., McNish, M. M., & Bosquet, D. (1996). What happens when students read multiple source documents in history. Reading Research Quarterly, 31, 430-456. Strømsø, H. I., Bråten, I., & Samuelstuen, M. S. (2008). Dimensions of topic-specific epistemological beliefs as predictors of multiple text understanding. Learning and Instruction, 18, 513-527. VanSledright, B. A., & Kelly, C. (1998). Reading American history: The influence of multiple sources on six fifth graders. The Elementary School Journal, 98(3), 239-265. Wineburg, S. (1991). Historical problem solving: A study of the cognitive processes used in the evaluation of documentary and pictorial evidence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 73-87. Wineburg, S. (1998). Reading Abraham Lincoln: An expert/expert study in the interpretation of historical texts. Cognitive Science, 22, 319-346. Wolfe, M. B. W., & Goldman, S. R. (2005). Relations between adolescents’ text processing and reasoning. Cognition and Instruction, 23, 467-502.
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