Digital Literacy & Equity

Supporting Students Learning to Evaluate Sources- Assessment Approach from Joel Breakstone, Mark Smith and Sarah McGrew

  • Educational interventions in a variety of contexts have shown that students can learn the strategies professional fact checkers use to evaluate the credibility of online sources. Researchers conducting these interventions have developed new kinds of assessments—instruments that measure participants’ knowledge, behaviors, or cognitive processes—to test the effects of their interventions. 
  • These new kinds of assessments are necessary because assessments commonly used to measure outcomes in misinformation research offer limited insights into participants’ reasoning. Extant measures do not reveal whether students deploy effective evaluation strategies and do not tap whether students engage in common evaluative mistakes like judging surface-level features (e.g., a source’s top-level domain or appearance). 
  • In this study, we investigated what new assessments revealed about how students evaluated online sources. Rather than replicate the findings of prior intervention studies, this study focused on understanding what these assessments revealed about students’ reasoning as they evaluated online information. 
  • The findings showed that the assessments were effective in revealing patterns in students’ reasoning as they evaluated websites. Responses pointed to common challenges students encountered when evaluating online content and showed evidence of students’ effective evaluation strategies. 
  • This study highlights possibilities for types of assessments that can be both readily implemented and provide insight into students’ thinking. Policymakers could use similar tasks to assess program effectiveness; researchers could utilize them as outcome measures in studies; and teachers could employ them for formative assessment of student learning.

“Learning Matrix” Transformation Model Responding to Pandemic Losses, Career Needs, and Learning Technology Opportunities

Given the losses our students have sustained, the communications technology environment they live in– texting, gaming, making media– changes to the traditional lecture, worksheets, classes of 25-28 all doing the same thing may be out of date.

Project-based learning could relate learning to communities and careers, while still teaching and tracking student mastery of standards-based curriculum skills and knowledge. Students could learn in large or small groups, in flipped learning on their own. Each student could have their own personalized learning plan and their progress could be one-click visible to their parents, teachers, and school admin.

“Learning Matrix” is a concept to replace the traditional school schedule and physical constructs with more personalized, varied, learning activities, modes, and schedules – using current technologies and supporting the development of skills required for career participation in today’s economy.

This paper, by Learning Counsel’s Leilani Cauthen, presents the concept of the Learning Matrix discussed by district and ed tech leaders.

The Learning Counsel is an organization that brings K-12 district and school leaders together with learning technology leaders to envision changes in schools and learning.

2022 Students and Technology Report: Rebalancing the Student Experience | EDUCAUSE

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