Project

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Late teenagers' online information search

English title Late teenagers' online information search
Applicant Botturi Luca
Number 188967
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Dipartimento formazione e apprendimento SUPSI
Institution of higher education Dipartimento formazione e apprendimento, Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana - SUPSI-DFA
Main discipline Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Start/End 01.01.2020 - 31.03.2023
Approved amount 479'867.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Information Technology

Keywords (6)

Data-mining; Digital literacy; Online search behaviours; Task-based scenarios; Information literacy; Online information

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
Quando cerchiamo delle informazioni, solitamente la prima cosa che facciamo è cercare su internet. La rete è oggi la prima fonte di informazione per praticamente tutto. Capire come i giovani trovano, valutano e selezionano le informazioni in rete è fondamentale per sostenere lo sviluppo di competenze di Information Literacy e la creazione di un ambiente informativo sano e democratico. Il progetto LOIS combina la ricerca sulle competenze digitali e le scienze dell’informazione in uno studio basato su scenari, per osservare e analizzare le reali pratiche di ricerca di informazioni online dei giovani (16-20 anni), non in un laboratorio ma tramite l’analisi dei log di navigazione.
Lay summary

Internet è la principale fonte di informazione per i giovani di oggi, i cosiddetti “nativi digitali” che saranno gli adulti e i decisori di domani. Ma questo è più o meno tutto quello che sappiamo. Come cercano informazioni in rete? Quali siti o canali considerano affidabili? Come selezionano cosa leggere e ciò cui credere? Il progetto LOIS analizza come i giovani tra i 16 e i 20 anni identificano, accedono e valutano le informazioni in rete.

Molti studi hanno esplorato questo ambito, ma nella grande maggioranza dei casi chiedendo alle persone di fare una ricerca su internet mentre erano in un laboratorio, seduti di fianco a un ricercatore, “pensando ad alta voce”, o completando un questionario. Il progetto LOIS cerca di cambiare l’approccio, e chiede a dei partecipanti volontari di cercare alcune informazioni in uno specifico scenario (ad es., sulla politica locale) quando e dove vogliono, usando i loro dispositivi; traccia poi il loro traffico web in modo da raccogliere dati che descrivono cosa i partecipanti effettivamente fanno quando cercano in rete. I log di navigazione vengono analizzati con algoritmi di data-mining per identificare dei pattern, che vengono poi messi in relazione con specifiche variabili (stato socio-economico, autoefficacia digitale, conoscenze pregresse, ecc.) e con una autovalutazione della propria ricerca.

Il progetto LOIS genererà nuove evidenze sui comportamenti online dei giovani, e offrirà spunti nel campo dell’educazione ai media digitali, in particolare in relazione al passaggio tra competenze effettive e autodichiarate, sull’importanza dei temi e sulle variabili che influenzano la messa in atto delle competenze.

Contesto scientifico e sociale

La ricerca di informazioni è un’attività chiave nella vita di una persona, e anche nella vita politica di una comunità: la democrazia si basa sull’idea che i cittadini possano compiere scelte buone in base a informazioni affidabili. Comprendere le pratiche di ricerca online dei giovani produce non solo risultati accademicamente interessanti, ma dà anche spunti per lo sviluppo di materiali didattici per insegnare le competenze di Information Literacy.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.11.2019

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
When we need information, we usually first look it up on the web, which is presently the first generic source of information for about anything. Understanding how young people locate, access, assess and select information online is paramount in order to support the development of sound Information Literacy skills and help develop a health and democratic information environment. The LOIS project brings together digital media literacy studies and information sciences in a task-driven study to observe and analyse the actual web search practices of late teenagers (age 16-20) not in a lab setting but through the collection of web search logs.
Lay summary

The internet is the main source of information for today’s late teenagers, the so-called “digital natives” who will be tomorrow’s adults and decision-makers. But this is more or less all we know about it. How do they search information online? What sites and channels do they trust? How do they select what to read and what to believe? The LOIS project investigates how late teenagers (age 16-20) locate, access and assess online information.

Several studies have attempted to do this before, but in most cases by asking people to search for information in a lab setting, sitting side-by-side with a researcher, “thinking aloud”, or filling in a survey. The LOIS project intends to change the method, and will ask volunteer participants to search for information within a specific scenario (e.g., on local politics) when and where they like, with their electronic device; and will then track their web traffic in order to get data on what they actually do when they search online. Web logs will be data-mined in order to identify patterns, and relate them to specific control variables (socio-economic status, digital self-efficacy, previous knowledge, etc.) and search performance self-assessment.

The LOIS project will offer new evidences on the online behaviours of late teenagers, and generate insights in the domain of digital and media education, especially on the gap between self-reported and actual skills, task-domain-relatedness and influencing variables.

Scientific and societal context

Information search is a core life activity and is central in our political life: democracy lives on the assumption that citizens make good choices based on reliable information. Understanding late teenagers’ online information search practices will yield academically interesting results, and also support the development of educational materials for teaching Information Literacy skills.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.11.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Abstract

Online content is the main source of information for today’s late teenagers, the so-called “digital natives” who will be tomorrow’s adults and decision-makers. We do not know how and why late teenagers find and assess information, because we do not know what they actually do when they navigate and search online. The LOIS project is about how late teenagers (age 16-20) locate, access and assess online information on different topics and in different scenarios. Information search is a core life activity, be it for finding facts, facilitate decision-making or for pleasure and enjoyment (White, 2016). Moreover, it is central in the political life of a community (Golding, 1994) as democracy is based on the assumption that citizens can make good choices based on reliable information. Today’s media-rich society is a highly complex information environment, and Digital Information Literacy (DIL) is central for full and aware citizenship (Behrens, 1994; Hobbs, 2010; JISC, 2014). This is also reflected in the latest Swiss regional HarmoS school programs, as well as by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), which highlights the need for an improvement of digital literacy at school in an increasingly digital world (SBFI, 2017).Innovating on methods, this project brings together digital media literacy studies and information sciences in a task-driven study to observe and analyse actual web search practices of adolescents through the collection of web search logs. Web logs will be data-mined in order to identify web search patterns, and relate them to specific control variables (socio-economic status, digital self-efficacy, declarative DIL knowledge, etc.) and search performance self-assessment.The LOIS project will offer new evidences on the online behaviours of late teenagers, and generate insights the domain of digital and media education, especially on the gap between self-reported and actual skills, task-domain-relatedness and influencing variables. This will not only yield academically interesting results, but also provide educationally relevant insights, which can support the implementation of the Media and Informatics sections of school curricula. The project’s approach, based on real-life web search logs and data mining, is also innovative. The project will be disseminated both in the academia (with conference and journal papers, and releasing an open dataset of web search logs) and in the education milieu, through the development of Open Educational Resources.
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