Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning

"Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning" is an executive summary of the Stanford History Education Group's recent project to develop and validate assessments of students' ability to evaluate information they read online. The research included students in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the United States. The Stanford History Education Group is now working to write assessment forms that could support teachers' instructional planning, as well as lesson plans that address key online reasoning skills.

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This executive summary provides a rationale for why students need to learn how to evaluate information they read online. The authors outline the scope of tasks that they developed and tested with students in middle school, high school, and college. At the middle school level, for example, researchers presented students with exercises that asked them to determine what tweets are trustworthy, or to read a sponsored article and determine why it might not include reliable information. It is helpful and informative to read about the types of assessment tasks that the Stanford History Education Group has tested and is currently developing to support classroom instruction.