Self-report of reading comprehension strategies: What are we measuring?
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Proficient readers engage in a wide range of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, and both developmental and classroom intervention researchers are in need of high-quality measures of strategy use. Several researchers have recently called into question the validity of the most common type of measures of strategy use in reading, self-report or introspective measures (i.e., the participant must report on his or her cognitive activity while not actually engaged in the activity). We administered three parallel strategy use measures to a sample of 30 ninth-grade students: a prospective self-report measure, a concurrent multiple-choice measure which required students to apply the strategies to specific passages, and a text on which we asked students to think aloud. We also collected two measures of reading comprehension—a standardized measure and free recall scores. Consistent with Veenman’s (2005) conclusions based on a literature review, the concurrent multiple-choice and think-aloud data were both significantly correlated with both of the comprehension scores and with each other, whereas the prospective self-report data had non-significant correlations with all of the other measures. We conclude by recommending concurrent measures for researchers who wish to study strategy use in reading comprehension.
KeywordsMeasurement Self-report Reading Comprehension Strategies
This research was supported by funding from an AERA/Spencer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship and a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship to the first author and by funding from the National Science Foundation (REC#0133346) awarded to the second author. Portions of this research were previously presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 15, 2005, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We thank Dr. Sheila Barron, Jeffrey Greene, Dr. Andrew Ho, Dr. Lorena Llosa, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Verhaege for comments that improved the quality of this paper.
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