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50 Years of ERIC
50 Years of ERIC
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ERIC Number: ED528950
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Using a New Reading Comprehension Assessment to Measure Discourse Representations and Identify Types of Comprehenders
Carlson, Sarah; Seipel, Ben; McMaster, Kristen
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Many researchers focus on assessing the cognitive components of reading comprehension. However, researchers are challenged to find the best way to measure the cognitive components of reading comprehension because many reading comprehension assessments differ in terms of format (i.e., cloze, multiple-chose, open-ended); presentation (i.e., print); and type of cognitive components of reading the assessment is measuring (i.e., inferential processes) (Eason & Cutting, 2009). Additionally, most measures of reading comprehension are collected "after" reading (i.e., offline); yet, to comprehend a text, readers need to also build coherent mental representations "during" reading (i.e., online) (Graesser, Singer, & Trabasso, 1994). Finally, few traditional assessments are designed to diagnose specific comprehension difficulties or to identify types of comprehenders. Such information would be useful for teachers to plan instruction that addresses students' specific needs. Given the critiques of traditional reading comprehension assessments, the purpose of this study is to discuss findings for a new reading comprehension assessment. The development of this assessment was based on the benefits of Multiple-choice, Open-ended, and Cloze Comprehension Assessments (MOCCA). MOCCA measures reading comprehension at the discourse level, rather than at a word integration level, and may help identify readers with different reading comprehension abilities because each alternative choice has been developed with an inference type in mind. The purpose of this study addresses the following questions: (1) What are the psychometric characteristics of this new reading comprehension assessment; (2) To what extent does this new reading comprehension assessment correlate with other reading measures; (3) To what extent does this new reading comprehension assessment distinguish among readers with different comprehension abilities; and (4) Does this new reading comprehension assessment distinguish between subgroups of struggling comprehenders? In this study, a total of 501 3rd-5th grade students participated in two study phases. The results of this study show that findings from the MOCCA produce reliable and criterion-valid scores. In addition, the authors feel this test provides support for identifying different types of cognitive components comprehenders use during reading, as measured by the types of choices provided to complete each text. Teachers can use such information to plan instruction that addresses students' specific needs. (Contains 1 table.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers: Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)