“We can go and do our research and know what’s right not because we’re science students but because we know how to look at a website now” Communicating Science student T1 2014
In a digitally rich world the ability to evaluate open education resources for credibility is an essential skill. The ‘Judging accuracy and reliability of information program’ was a fruitful teaching collaboration between Science Communication academics and library staff of Deakin University designed to motivate and enable first year undergraduate students to better assess science information freely available on the web. The program consisted of a class led by Library staff focussing on assessing the credibility of sources as an integral skill of Digital Literacy followed by three seminars. During the seminars groups of students examined a website with scientific content for flaws, developed a decision making process which would facilitate assessment of sources for accuracy and reliability and then applied this criteria to a new website. The group assessment consisted of a ‘Media Watch’ style video of this result uploaded to the learning management system.
Qualitative research was conducted by holding focus group sessions with students and interviews with teaching staff and librarians. The program achieved positive learning outcomes and the engaging, relevant and practical nature of the learning activity was identified as contributing to the success of the program.
The NMC Horizon Report> 2015 Higher Education Preview identifies the trend of ‘Increasing Focus on Open Education Resources’ stating ‘As traditional sources of authority are augmented by downloadable content…there is a need for more curation and other forms of validation that can communicate the credibility of the resource’.
This poster will address how we build learner resilience by developing skills to engage effectively with a complex information world and learn for life in the 21st century.
Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)
The poster is submitted for the theme: Navigating Uncertainty and Complexity. It outlines a teaching program which enabled students to develop the skills and competence to interrogate the complex environment of open sources and assess content for credibility. As a result of the program students developed confidence in navigating an environment in which academic content is often uncertain and enabled them to develop and apply a process to determine the validity of information. These skills of assessing information for accuracy and reliability equip the student for learning in complex world.