Impact of text availability and question format on reading comprehension processes
We conducted two experiments to analyze how text availability and question format affect readers’ processes and performance on measures of expository text reading comprehension. Junior high school students read expository texts and answered both multiple choice and open-ended questions on a computer that recorded reading times and readers’ actions with Read&Answer software. The results showed that readers reread prior text segments during initial reading of the text more often when they knew that the text would be unavailable when answering questions than when they knew that the text would be available. In addition, readers made more search decisions in the text- available condition when answering open-ended questions than when answering multiple-choice questions. Regarding performance, we repeatedly found an interaction effect between availability and question format: text availability benefited the open-ended but not the multiple-choice format. We concluded that the two availability conditions are useful in assessing different discourse processes. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for the development of models of reading and new ways to assess reading literacy skills that emphasize purposeful reading.
Ferrer, A., Vidal-Abarca, E., Serrano, M-A, Gilabert, R. (2017). Impact of text availability and question format on reading comprehension processes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 51, 404-415.