How students with intellectual disabilities evaluate recommendations from internet forums

How students with intellectual disabilities evaluate recommendations from internet forums Social networks enable people with intellectual disabilities (ID) to participate actively in society and to promote their self-determination. However, concerns have been raised regarding the potential limitations of people with ID to deal with untrustworthy information sources on the Internet. In an experiment, we assessed how adult students with ID evaluated recommendations in Internet forums authored by either self-reported experts or by users under pseudonyms who supported their claim either with documentary sources or their personal experience. We compared the performances of students with ID to that of students of similar ages but higher educational levels (chronological age-matched control group) and to younger students with similar verbal mental age (verbal mental age-matched control group). Participants were asked to evaluate to what extent a fictitious user should follow particular recommendations given in a forum and to justify their evaluations by writing a message to the fictitious user. Students with ID, as opposed to the two control groups, recommended the forum advice to a higher extent regardless of authorship and evidence used, and they included in their messages to the fictitious user a higher number of opinions and information sources not present in the forum without linking them to the actual discussion. The pattern of results suggested that students with ID have a limited ability to evaluate recommendations in forums and that they do not necessarily present a delay in the development of these abilities, but rather an atypical development. Finally, we discussed the potential implications for teaching digital literacy to students with ID. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

How students with intellectual disabilities evaluate recommendations from internet forums

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-016-9621-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social networks enable people with intellectual disabilities (ID) to participate actively in society and to promote their self-determination. However, concerns have been raised regarding the potential limitations of people with ID to deal with untrustworthy information sources on the Internet. In an experiment, we assessed how adult students with ID evaluated recommendations in Internet forums authored by either self-reported experts or by users under pseudonyms who supported their claim either with documentary sources or their personal experience. We compared the performances of students with ID to that of students of similar ages but higher educational levels (chronological age-matched control group) and to younger students with similar verbal mental age (verbal mental age-matched control group). Participants were asked to evaluate to what extent a fictitious user should follow particular recommendations given in a forum and to justify their evaluations by writing a message to the fictitious user. Students with ID, as opposed to the two control groups, recommended the forum advice to a higher extent regardless of authorship and evidence used, and they included in their messages to the fictitious user a higher number of opinions and information sources not present in the forum without linking them to the actual discussion. The pattern of results suggested that students with ID have a limited ability to evaluate recommendations in forums and that they do not necessarily present a delay in the development of these abilities, but rather an atypical development. Finally, we discussed the potential implications for teaching digital literacy to students with ID.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 9, 2016

References

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