In part 1 of this three-part article, I discussed a study by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew into different methods of search-and-find as employed by three distinct groups, professional fact-checkers, professional historians and first-year undergraduates. The researchers found that the methods used and the thinking processes of the historians and the students were different to the strategies and the thinking processes of the fact-checkers – and that the methods used by these historians and the students could be among the reasons why many of them made incomplete analyses of the sites visited and made flawed conclusions.
The three groups were asked to complete six tasks in timed conditions. The findings and ensuing discussion are detailed in the paper Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information.
In this earlier post (Not just CRAAP – 1), I invited readers to try one of the tasks for themselves. If you haven’t already done this, it might be a good idea to try before reading on here.
The task asked participants to imagine they looking for information on bullying, and describe their thought processes as they considered two particular articles on two different websites. The articles were Bullying at School: Never Acceptable on the site of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds – the College) and then Stigma: At the Root of Ostracism and Bullying on the site of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP – the Academy).
Participants were allowed to look elsewhere on the sites and anywhere else online that they wished. They had to decide which website was the more reliable and trustworthy.
What the researchers found was that Continue reading