Announcement of Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense: The Perception of Authority in Teaching Information Literacy: An Exploration of Secondary School Teachers’ Views and Practices regarding the Credibility of Online Information

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:00pm - 4:00pm

GSE 225

This study proposes to investigate secondary school teachers’ perceptions of the authority and associated credibility of open access digital information sources. It will analyze how these perceptions affect their understanding and practice of teaching information literacy. Information literacy in the context of education has been well researched, but the perception of teachers regarding information literacy in general, and of the authority of online sources in particular (especially in secondary schools), has not been extensively examined. Therefore, this study will utilize a design methodology consisting of explanatory, sequential mixed methods as developed by Cresswell (2003), that has been shown to discover and analyze formerly unexplored areas of knowledge.
   Current trends in secondary school education include a focus on independent and collaborative evidence-based research. Students are overwhelmingly utilizing digital information sources whose authorship is often unidentified and/or by multiple authors to conduct this research. Current information literacy instruction lacks a coherent and comprehensive framework for teaching students how to verify and responsibly use these information sources in large part because teachers themselves have diverse and divergent perceptions of the value of these sources (Allen, 2007; Smith, 2011). As a result, secondary school students are using online sources without a clear understanding of the nature and value of information validation processes or the necessity of conducting these processes.
   This situation is exemplified by teacher perceptions and instructional practices with regard to This popular information source is heavily utilized by students, yet usage is often prohibited by teachers who perceive it as an untrustworthy source due to its uncredentialed and crowd-sourced authorship (Head & Eisenberg, 2010; Snyder, 2013). In exploring the rationale behind these prohibitions and how it relates to teachers’ larger perceptions of web-based information and resulting information literacy instruction, this study will attempt to develop a usable framework for teaching digital information literacy that includes standards for responsible scholarship including utilization of the fifth most popular website in the world (“The top 500 sites on the web,” 2019).


Who to contact:

Tamara Richman