2023-2026 SMiLEY (DFG)
SMiLey: Science Media Literacy – An Intervention Study
In their everyday life, students encounter various representations of scientific information, but not all of them are trustworthy and reliable. Particularly, social media is increasingly playing a crucial role in participating in discussions related to science. However, the contributions on social media undergo no selection and filtering process, thus systematically differing from the role of traditional (print) media as so-called gatekeepers. Misinformation and half-truths are commonplace in social media and rapidly spread due to various effects such as filter bubbles and echo chambers. Consequently, students often face the question, "Which knowledge claims or experts can I trust?"
The DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) project, conducted in collaboration with geography education, aims to empower students through Science Media Literacy (SMiLey) to make well-founded assessments of credibility. The focal context for this project is the anthropogenic climate change, a major challenge. Despite a stable scientific consensus on climate change for years, contradictory and distorted portrayals circulate on social media.
Within the framework of the SMiLey project, two different teaching interventions are carried out, and resulting learning effects are measured using a performance test. The trust judgment intervention aims to convey strategies focused on evaluating the expertise of individuals. In particular, an enhanced understanding of the Nature of Science (e.g., how does climate research function, how does one establish expertise on climate change, what constitutes scientific consensus) is of importance. On the other hand, the physical and geographical expertise on climate change is imparted through the subject knowledge intervention, aimed at further developing strategies for evaluating factual information.
The project's outcomes are expected to provide insights into particularly effective credibility assessment strategies and how to effectively learn and apply them.
Höttecke, D. & Allchin, D. (2020). Re-conceptualizing Nature-of-Science Education in the Age of Social Media. Science Education, 104, 641–666, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sce.21575 (30.08.2022), doi: 10.1002/sce.21575.
Höttecke, D. (2021). Klimawandel in Medien. Drei Antworten, wie man Schülerinnen und Schüler auf Darstellungen des Klimawandels in den Medien vorbereiten kann [Climate change in media. Three answers on how to prepare students for representations of climate change in the media.]. Naturwissenschaften im Unterricht - Physik, 32 (Heft 183/184), S.50–55.
Zilz, K. & Höttecke, D. (2022). Promoting Pre-service Physics Teachers’ Science Media Literacy. Science Education Review Letters, https://edoc.hu-berlin.de/handle/18452/25148 (26.09.2022), doi: 10.18452/24480.
Zilz, K. & Höttecke, D. (2022). Wer ist vertrauenswürdig? Strategien zur Beurteilung der Glaubwürdigkeit von Informationen. [Who is trustworthy? Strategies for assessing the credibility of information.] Unterricht Chemie 192, 16–21.
Zilz, K. & Höttecke, D (2023). Förderung von Science Media Literacy bei angehenden Physiklehrkräften [Promoting science media literacy among prospective physics teachers]. In H.v. Vorst (Hrsg.), Lernen, Lehren und Forschen in einer digital geprägten Welt (S. 790-793). Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Chemie und Physik. Jahrstagung in Aachen 2022.