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SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap

Learning in a Knowledge Society: Constructing Meaning from Multiple Information Sources

Awarded: NOK 4.7 mill.

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2006 - 2009


In Norway and many other countries educators and policy-makers are concerned about students' level of comprehension when working with traditional as well as digital texts. Especially, the need to make connections among multiple sources represents a great challenge to many readers, and many students often struggle hard to construct links connecting source materials expressing diverse and even contradictory viewpoints. Students are also increasingly confronted with the task of linking multiple texts while r eading, not least because of the rapid access to innumerous sources provided by computerized information systems. Moreover, given the array of information sources available in today's knowledge society, it could even be argued that the ability to make con nections among multiple sources is a necessity for full inclusion in society. From a pedagogical point of view, the reading of multiple sources may be a beneficial activity, allowing readers to construct a deeper and more interconnected understanding of a topic. In this project, we will focus on students' comprehension of multiple science texts, including both high school students and university students. Text comprehension may be said to involve three interrelated components, the reader, the reading acti vity, and the text, with these components occurring within a larger sociocultural context. We will focus on particular aspects of each of these components. Specifically, the project aims to provide new knowledge concerning relationships between several in dividual-difference reader variables, strategic actions during reading, and the understanding of multiple information sources. Additionally, the project aims to understand how changes in the reading task context (i.e., the purpose for reading) might influ ence the construction of meaning from multiple sources, as well as how students' ability to profit from the reading of multiple information sources might be associated with educational level.

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SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap