The role of epistemic thinking in comprehension of multiple online source perspectives

Sarit Barzilai, Yoram Eshet-Alkalai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


One of the ongoing challenges of developing learners’ digital literacy is fostering the ability to critically construct meaning from diverse online sources. The purpose of the current study is to shed light on the role of learners’ epistemic thinking on their ability to identify and interpret online source perspectives. The study examines the effect of epistemic perspective (absolutist, multiplist, or evaluativist) and online source perspectives (conflicting or converging blog-posts) on learners’ ability to understand, evaluate, and integrate multiple socio-scientific perspectives. Preliminary results from a pilot study indicated that in the converging blog-posts condition epistemic thinking did not play a significant role, however, in the conflicting blog-posts condition, participants with high evaluativist scores were significantly more successful in comprehension and integration of multiple source perspectives. A concerning finding is that few students referred to author perspectives in their source evaluations. We propose that when presenting learners with conflicting online sources it is also important
to address learners’ epistemic perspectives and to help them develop a deeper understanding of the constructed nature of knowledge
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning in the Technological Era: Proceedings of the 8th Chais conference on instructional technologies research
EditorsY. Eshet-Alkalai, A. Caspi, S. Eden, N. Geri, Y. Kalman, Y. Yair
Place of PublicationRa'anana
Publisherהוצאת האוניברסיטה הפתוחה
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2013


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