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Are College Students Techno Idiots? 297

ict_geek writes "Are college students techno idiots? Despite the inflammatory headline, Inside Higher Ed asks an interesting question. The article refers to a recent study by ETS, which analyzed results from 6,300 students who took its ICT Literacy Assessment. The findings show that students don't know how to judge the authoritativeness or objectivity of web sites, can't narrow down an overly broad search, and can't tailor a message to a particular audience. Yikes. According to the article: 'when asked to select a research statement for a class assignment, only 44 percent identified a statement that captured the assignment's demands. And when asked to evaluate several Web sites, 52 percent correctly assessed the objectivity of the sites, 65 percent correctly judged for authority, and 72 percent for timeliness. Overall, 49 percent correctly identified the site that satisfied all three criteria.'" If they are, they're not the only ones.
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Are College Students Techno Idiots?

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  • We're too visual (Score:4, Informative)

    by cvd6262 (180823) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:32PM (#16873900)
    I'll point us back to a couple of /. posts.

    First, Nature found that people judge websites in a few milliseconds: 7/0342224 []

    Then Harvard and Cal find that phishing works because people judge too much on the visual presentation: []

    Now we see that people are poor judges of content. Quite close to A + B = C.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:50PM (#16874238)
    Here's a good information evaluation test: identify the bias that is most likely to be present within this survey mechanism. Identify the impartial sources of review that have confirmed the efficacy of the survey instrument. Identify possible flaws in the methodoloy of this deployment of the mechanism. Discover whether the instrument is even available for non-subscribers, academic or otherwise, to evaluate. Find possible problems with the instrument's own methodology, such as poor question structure, dead-end questions, and overly strict post-survey coding mechanisms.

    It doesn't take a sociology Ph.D with a concentration in statistics to ask a few of these questions...

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb