ABS365 - Double stimulation as model for the pedagogy of digital literacy

1.3 Learning, knowledge and agency
20 minutes
Research has shown that students are expedient and uncritical with the use of digital information. Mostly, the teaching of digital literacy has relied on a checklist of criteria, which has been shown to be ineffective. What is not known, is which tools best mediate the development of students’ sophisticated judgments of accuracy and reliability of information. This presentation seeks to address this research gap in our knowledge about digital literacy tools.

The focus is on examining how students flexibly and productively participate in a society awash with emerging and disruptive forms of knowledge creation and distribution, in which students need to develop their own criteria for evaluating the validity of information.

Drawing upon Vygotsky’s method of double stimulation, this paper reports on the development and implementation of a pedagogy of digital literacy for undergraduate science students. Students confronted a contradiction: an unscientific website appearing authoritative (anti-vax or anti-windfarm, …). A second activity enabled students to develop criteria for judging accuracy and reliability of information and articulate them in a tool (a decision tree, game or story …) which is then tested by other groups and further developed and applied collaboratively in a video report for assessment. Data came from student focus group, tutor interviews and artifacts.

This research reconceptualises and applies the method of second stimulus in digital literacy. Using artifacts to evaluate complex and problematic sources externalizes the generation of criteria. This process nurtures students’ emerging identity as scientists through increasingly sophisticated decision making and metacognitive reflection.
Deakin University

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