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ERIC Number: EJ1044447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-1042-1629
Reading Information about a Scientific Phenomenon on Webpages Varying for Reliability: An Eye-Movement Analysis
Mason, Lucia; Pluchino, Patrik; Ariasi, Nicola
Educational Technology Research and Development, v62 n6 p663-685 Dec 2014
Students search the Web frequently for many purposes, one of which is to search information for academic assignments. Given the huge amount of easily accessible online information, they are required to develop new reading skills and become more able to effectively evaluate the reliability of web sources. This study investigates the distribution of their visual attention while reading webpages using eye-tracking methodology. The aim was to examine whether information received differential attention depending on the reliability of the source and whether the individual characteristics of topic-specific prior knowledge and epistemic beliefs moderated their visual behavior during reading. Factual knowledge after reading was also examined. Forty-nine university students read four webpages providing verbal and graphical information about the universal validity of the central dogma of molecular biology, which varied for reliability. Indices of first-pass and second-pass reading or inspection were used to trace the processing of information within each page. Findings revealed that readers made an implicit source evaluation as they spent a longer time inspecting the pictures about the more and less familiar information within the most reliable source during the immediate, more automatic, processing. In addition, topic-specific epistemic beliefs moderated this processing as readers with more availing convictions about knowledge attended more the information provided in pages that required more discernment. Moreover, readers increased their factual knowledge of the topic after reading. Educational implications are outlined.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A