Multiple Document Comprehension of University Students

Test Development and Relations to Person and Process Characteristics
  • C. SchoorEmail author
  • C. Hahnel
  • N. Mahlow
  • J. Klagges
  • U. Kroehne
  • F. Goldhammer
  • C. Artelt


Multiple document comprehension is the ability to construct an integrated representation of a specific topic based on several sources. It is an important competence for university students; however, there has been so far no established instrument to assess multiple document comprehension in a standardized way. Therefore, we developed a test covering four theory-based cognitive requirements: The corroboration of information across texts, the integration of information across texts, the comparison of sources and source evaluations across texts, and the comparison of source-content links across texts. The developed test comprised 174 items and was empirically examined in a study with 310 university students. Several items had to be excluded due to psychometric misfit and differential item functioning. The resulting final test contains 67 items within 5 units (i.e., test structures of 2–3 texts and related items) and has been shown to fit a unidimensional IRT Rasch model. The test score showed expected relationships to the final school exam grade, the study level (Bachelor/Master), essay performance, sourcing behavior, as well as mental load and mental effort.


Multiple document comprehension university students assessment multiple document literacy sourcing mental load mental effort basic computer skills reading frequency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Schoor
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Hahnel
    • 2
  • N. Mahlow
    • 3
  • J. Klagges
    • 2
  • U. Kroehne
    • 2
  • F. Goldhammer
    • 2
  • C. Artelt
    • 3
  1. 1.Universität BambergBambergGermany
  2. 2.DIPF | Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsforschung und BildungsinformationFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institut für BildungsverläufeBambergGermany

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