The Assessment of Levels of Domain Expertise while Reading

James M. Royer, Maria S. Carlo, Robert Dufresne, Jose Mestre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this research was to evaluate 3 test development procedures that are designed to measure different levels of domain expertise. These procedures produce tests that are designed to have properties that would enable them to be used in actual training and instructional settings. Experts and novices in psychology and physics took tests that were generated using the procedures that were hypothesized to measure the ability to understand technical text (characteristic of learners with low levels of domain expertise), the ability to draw inferences from technical text (characteristic of learners with moderate levels of domain expertise), and the ability to recognize "big ideas" in technical text (characteristic of learners with high levels of domain expertise). The results were consistent with the hypothesis that the techniques were sensitive to differences in domain expertise. The article ends with a discussion of (a) the agreement between the results of the study and theory and research in cognitive science and (b) the practical properties of the assessment techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-408
Number of pages36
JournalCognition and Instruction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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