Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O., Brückner, S., Nagel, M.-T., Bültmann, A.-K., Fischer, J., Schmidt, S., & Molerov, D. (2021). Performance Assessment and Digital Training Framework for Young Professionals' Generic and Domain-specific Online Reasoning in Law, Medicine, and Teacher Practice. Journal of Supranational Policies of Education, 13, 9-36.


In the digital age, the Internet is increasingly considered a major information source. This is especially true for informal, e.g., post-university, learning. Evidentially, young professionals are increasingly using online sources as an information and learning tool. Critical reasoning from online information for learning and professional processes in the domains of medicine, law, and teaching is considered a highly relevant competence facet. For example, staying up to date on a multitude of matters, e.g., published in articles and guidelines, as is the case in the medical field, can be challenging when the required competencies to use online media are absent (e.g., Allen et al. 2005, O'Carroll et al. 2015). Current research on students in higher education indicates substantial deficits in their critical online reasoning skills, also among graduates. However, online information seeking and corresponding competencies of young professionals in job-specific educational processes have not been researched yet. There is a lack of both valid domain-specific assessments for different professions and learning tools that can effectively foster the competent use of online information in practice among young professionals.

Our research presented here is part of the collaborative BRIDGE project, which is conducted under the umbrella of the program "Research for the Design of Educational Processes under the Conditions of Digital Change." This study is based on our previous work on the assessment of generic skills in higher education in the international projects CLA+, iPAL, and CORA as well as on experiences with job-specific performance assessments from the research programs KoKoHs and ASCOT+, which measured professional competence. To validly measure critical online reasoning among young professionals from three domains — medicine, law, and teacher training —we develop new computer-based online performance assessments and corresponding training tools. The specific aim is to analyze to what extent they improve in using online information with greater reflection when creating job-specific documents after an online training based on process and performance data (using innovative approaches, such as text mining and educational data mining). In this paper, we showcase the conceptual and assessment framework of the newly developed innovative tools to measure and promote generic and domain-specific online reasoning among young professionals in medicine, law, and teacher education. Based on this framework, we discuss how these crucial professional competence facets can be validly measured and effectively fostered in practice.