A1 Journal article (refereed)
Students' evaluation of information during online inquiry : Working individually or in pairs (2019)

Kiili, C., Coiro, J., & Räikkönen, E. (2019). Students' evaluation of information during online inquiry : Working individually or in pairs. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 42(3), 167-183. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf03652036

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kiili, Carita; Coiro, Julie; Räikkönen, Eija

Journal or series: Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

ISSN: 1038-1562

eISSN: 1839-4728

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 42

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 167-183

Publisher: Australian Literacy Educators' Association

Publication country: Australia

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/bf03652036

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65909


Varying information quality and an increase of misinformation on the Internet accentuates the importance of supporting students’ competencies to critically evaluate information. This study compared how individuals and pairs of secondary students worked to evaluate the quality of online information across two inquiry topics. Two similar studies were conducted with 140 Finnish (Study I) and 52 US (Study II) students. Students were asked to conduct an online inquiry and then write an essay about one of two topics: allowing the genetic modification of organisms (GMO) or the effects of social media on people’s quality of life (SM). Students worked either individually or in pairs. Their work was supported with a digital tool that prompted them to evaluate the credibility of online texts they selected as sources for their essays. Three separate analyses of covariance were conducted to examine differences in evaluation of online texts between individual and paired readers as well as between the inquiry topics across three dimensions: 1) total number of relevant justifications for credibility evaluations, 2) different types of relevant justifications, and 3) overall quality of students’ evaluations and justifications across all responses captured by the digital tool. Results showed that working in pairs appeared to support the evaluation of online information in all assessed aspects in one context (Study I) but not in another (Study II). In Study 1, the GMO topic appeared to stimulate students’ evaluation of information slightly more than SM, while there was no difference in evaluation performance across topics in Study 2. Findings suggest that discussing the credibility of online texts with a partner is a promising practice. Future research should explore more qualitative dimensions of how partners work together as they evaluate online texts and how instruction could be used to support collaborative evaluation.

Keywords: information; information sources; Internet; reliability (general); credibility; evaluation; students; isolated work; pair work; critical thinking

Free keywords: information; misinformation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-06-02 at 15:01