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A theory of measurement of knowledge content, access and learning

 

We develop an approach to the measurement of knowledge content, knowledge access and knowledge learning. This approach has two elements: First we describe a theoretical view of cognition, called the Newell-Dennett framework, which we see as being particularly favourable to the development of a measurement approach. Then, we describe a class of measurement models, based on Rasch modeling, which we see as being particularly favourable to the development of cognitive theories. Knowledge content and access are viewed as determining the observable actions selected by an agent in order to achieve desired goals in observable situations. To the degree that models within the theory fit the data at hand, one considers measures of observed behavior to be manifestations of intelligent agents having specific classes of knowledge content and varying degrees of access to that knowledge. Although agents, environment, and knowledge are constitutively defined (in terms of one another), successful application of our theory affords separation of parameters associated with the person from those associated with the environment. We present and discuss two examples of measurement models developed within our approach that address the

evolution of cognitive skill, strategy choice and application, and developmental changes in mixtures of strategy use.

 
citation

Pirolli, P. L. ; Wilson, M. A theory of measurement of knowledge content, access and learning. Psychological Review. 1998 January; 105 (1): 58-82.