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Validating theoretical assumptions about reading with cognitive diagnosis models
A. C. George, A. Robitzsch

Validating theoretical assumptions about reading with cognitive diagnosis models

International Journal of Testing, 21(2), 105-129

Modern large-scale studies such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) do not only report reading competence of students on a global reading scale but also report reading on the level of reading subskills. However, the number of and the dependencies between the subskills are frequently discussed. In this study, different theoretical assumptions regarding the subskills describing the reading competence “acquiring and using information” in PIRLS are deduced from accompanying official materials. The different assumptions are then translated into empirical cognitive diagnosis models (CDMs). By evaluating and comparing the CDMs in terms of empirical fit criteria in each country participating in PIRLS 2016, the underlying theoretical assumptions are validated. Results show that in all but one country, a model proposing four reading subskills with no order between the subskills shows the best fit. This selected model could be simplified in order to facilitate practical derivations as, for example, the evaluation of skill classes and the analysis of learning paths.