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Multimodal interaction
IWM budget resources
Project description

The WWW offers easy and fast access to a vast amount of information, which, however, can vary greatly in its quality. Previous empirical studies have shown that both school students and adults don’t often spontaneously pay attention to and critically evaluate where the information stems from. Therefore, this project investigated different approaches how Web users can be supported in their evaluation and selection of information during Web search.

On the one hand, we aimed at developing and evaluating specific support measures for school students or non-academic adults to foster their search and evaluation competencies on the Web. The general goal of these support measures was to increase Web users' awareness of the necessity to critically evaluate information when searching for conflicting issues and to teach respective skills. On the other hand, the project investigated whether a search engine interface with an alternative presentation format can facilitate source evaluation processes during Web search about conflicting issues. The general goal was to increase the affordances of the search engine interface to engage in source evaluations, for example by reducing the salience of the ranking by presenting the search results in an interface other than a list interface and by increasing the salience of source information by grouping the search results according to source categories (e.g., a tabular interface, see figure below). To collect data on participants' evaluation processes during Web search, we used a combination of different process measures such as eye tracking methodology, log file data, and verbal protocols. In addition, we also examined the product of the search task (e.g., an argumentative summary).

  • Kammerer, Y., Amann, D., & Gerjets, P. (2015). When adults without university education search the Internet for health information: The roles of Internet-specific epistemic beliefs and a source evaluation intervention. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 297-309.
  • Kammerer, Y., & Gerjets, P. (2012). Effects of search interface and internet-specific epistemic beliefs on source evaluations during web search for medical information: An eye-tracking study. Behaviour & Information Technology, 31, 83-97.
  • Kammerer, Y., Meier, N., & Stahl, E. (2016). Fostering secondary-school students’ intertext model formation when reading a set of websites: The effectiveness of source prompts. Computers & Education, 102, 52-64.