Learning from Multiple Sources in a Digital Society

Susan. R. Goldman, F.L.J.M. Brand - Gruwel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Twenty-first century society relies on digital technology for information relevant to all spheres of life. Yet, the majority of citizens lack knowledge, skills, and practices needed to meet the challenges posed by the ubiquitous array of information and technologies that they have at their fingertips (American College Test, 2006; Ananiadou, & Claro, 2009; National Center for Education Statistics, 2013; National Research Council, 2012; Organization for Economic and Cultural Development (OECD), 2013). This chapter brings together work from two research areas that have focused on the competencies demanded by 21st-century society: information problem solving and multiple source discourse comprehension. Information problem solving has tended to focus on processes of search, evaluation, and selection of task - relevant, useful, and accurate sources of information, typically involving use of the Internet. On the other hand, the majority of multiple source comprehension work has tended to focus on processes of sense-making from researcher-provided information resources, often pre-selected to vary along dimensions hypothesized as important to learners’ decisions regarding task-relevant information within and across information resources. Both research areas have been concerned with source attributes (e.g., expertise of the author, potential self-interest of the publisher), as well as learner and task characteristics that impact search, evaluation and integration processes within and across sources. Investigations in both areas rely on experimental and quasi-experimental paradigms and use multiple methodologies and dependent measures, including think-alouds, read-alouds, eye-tracking, navigation logs, rating tasks, and constructed and forced-choice responses. Topics and spheres of life tapped by this research reflect a range from academic topics typical of formal schooling (e.g., in history “Was U. S. intervention in the Panama justified?”, in science: “Explain volcanic eruptions”) to more informal, personal decisions about environmental and health issues (e.g., climate change and cell phone use).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of the Learning Sciences
EditorsFrank Fischer, Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver, Susan R. Goldman, Peter Reimann
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315617572
ISBN (Print)9781138670563, 9781138670594
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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    Goldman, S. R., & Brand - Gruwel, F. L. J. M. (2018). Learning from Multiple Sources in a Digital Society. In F. Fischer, C. E. Hmelo-Silver, S. R. Goldman, & P. Reimann (Eds.), International Handbook of the Learning Sciences (1 ed., pp. 86-95). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315617572