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Online Reading Comprehension: Opportunities, Challenges, and Next Steps

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How does reading and learning change on the Internet? You are invited into a conversation about the nature of information on the Internet and its implications for how we think about reading …

How does reading and learning change on the Internet? You are invited into a conversation about the nature of information on the Internet and its implications for how we think about reading comprehension and critical thinking in a digital information age. Julie first explores how the Internet poses new opportunities for authentic inquiry, collaborative conversations, and students to develop their voices as active citizens. Then, she describes the reading challenges that extend beyond traditional reading comprehension skills to encompass rapidly changing literacies for questioning, locating, evaluating, synthesizing, and communicating information during online inquiry. Finally, she highlights important areas for future research in order to keep up with the changing technologies that will continue to redefine what literacy means in the future.

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    • 1. Online Reading Comprehension: Opportunities, Challenges, and Next Steps Julie Coiro, Associate Professor, School of Education University of Rhode Island jcoiro@mail.uri.edu Academic Papers: http://uri.academia.edu/JulieCoiro/Papers
    • 2. Where are we headed? What is online reading comprehension (from a new literacies perspective)? What questions are worth exploring next?
    • 3. A New Literacies Perspective of Online Reading Comprehension 1. Students require additional, new skills to read and effectively comprehend information online. 2. Students are sometimes more literate than their teachers with certain aspects of using the Internet. 3. The Internet is a READING and WRITING issue (not a technology issue) for every content-area classroom teacher, reading educator, and library media specialist.
    • 4. How does reading and learning on the Internet change? You begin by identifying an important question New ways of locating information New reasons for critically evaluating the information New contexts for synthesizing information to answer your questions New ways of communicating the answers to others Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, and Cammack (2004) Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, & Henry (2013)
    • 5. Initial Evidence of something “new” (r=0.19, n = 89, N.S.) Offline Reading = CT State Reading Test Online Reading Comprehension= ORCA Blog Leu, D. Castek, J., Hartman, D., Coiro, J., Henry, L., Kulikowich, J., Lyver, S. (2005).
    • 6. Additional Evidence: Predicting Online Reading Comprehension R2 Offline Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Prior Knowledge Additional R2 Online Reading Comprehension Total R2 .351* .074 .154* .579* 35% 7.4% 15.4% 57.9% Offline Reading Comp.= CT State Reading Test Online Reading Comprehension = ORCA Quia Coiro, 2011 n=120 Qualitative evidence: (Coiro & Dobler, 2007; Afflerbach & Cho, 2009) Quantitative evidence: (Kingsley, 2010; Coiro, 2011) Theoretical examples: (Hartman, Morsink, & Zheng, 2009)
    • 7. Turn and Talk: Think about your own experiences reading on the Internet…how do they compare to reading printed materials? Share with a partner… What is one thing that appears to be different? What do you notice you (or your students) struggle with?
    • 8. Other studies of online reading (Afflerbach & Cho, 2009) Nature of unique reading strategies reported by accomplished online readers Overviewing before reading Evaluating qualities of multiple & diverse texts/snippets Strategies for realizing and constructing potential texts to read (scrutinizing hyperlinks, generating inferences, sequencing texts, conducting complementary searches) points to the centrality of monitoring Implications for developing readers? Many areas of potential challenge Afflerbach, P. & Cho, B. (2009). Determining and describing reading strategies: Internet and traditional forms of reading. In H. S. Waters & W. Schneider (Eds.). Metacognition, strategy use, and instruction (pp. 201-225). New York: Guilford Press.
    • 9. Other studies of online reading Major shift in our conception of reading comprehension in terms of complexity and multiplicity RAND Model (2002): Tetradic conception of four interacting elements Hartman, Morsink, & Zheng (2010): Hexadic conception of six interacting elements (each is multiple as well) Texts Texts Texts Texts Texts Authors Texts Authors Contexts Contexts Authors Contexts Authors Contexts Authors Contexts Authors Contexts Readers Readers Tasks Tasks Readers Readers Tasks Tasks Readers Readers Tasks Tasks Technologie Technologie Technologie Technologie Technologie s Technologie s s s s s
    • 10. So what skills are important to have for reading on the Internet? (Coiro, 2007) Speed matters! A new kind of fluency! Well, I’d say - concentration…immunity to the rest of the sites once you click on one. And being a good internet searcher - meaning when you know exactly what to click on without having to think twice about it, and when you click on it, it’s reliable….I’d say it’s about 25% luck, 74% skill, and 1% wit - I really can’t understand it all myself but …they mold right into a perfect circle and it works correctly! Evaluate relevancy Locating & Evaluating Evaluate reliability
    • 11. What opportunities do “digitally literate” learners encounter when they interact with people and information online?
    • 12. Authentic Inquiry & Deeper Thinking
    • 13. Authentic Inquiry & Deeper Thinking
    • 14. Collaboratively Co-Construct Knowledge Social Practices: Request & give information; jointly acknowledge, evaluate, & build on partner’s contributions Cognitive Strategies: Read, question, monitor, repair, infer, connect, clarify, and interpret
    • 15. Opportunities for Extended Online Collaboration and Communication Grade 4: Cross-Country Collaboration with Animal Specialists Three stages 1. Local Expert Inspires Inquiry Circles 2. Students identify specific animals to study 3. Animal specialists support student discovery using Voicethread
    • 16. Building Productive Skills in Collaboration and Communication Grade 4: Ask-An-Expert with VoiceThread
    • 17. Developing/Sharing Your Personal Voice Generating Online Texts Over 460 entries by Grade 3 & 4 students!
    • 18. Developing/Sharing Your Personal Voice Taking Action with Public Service Announcements
    • 19. What challenges do learners encounter when they interact with people and information online?
    • 20. Challenges: Balance, Prudence, and Digital Wisdom Digital Natives (Prensky, 2005) – Are they really?? The Digital Natives Debate (e.g., Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008) From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom (Prensky, 2010; 2012) “The human mind is extended, enhanced, amplified and liberated by technology” Find the best combination of mind and technology Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom (Prensky, 2012)
    • 21. Challenges: Balance, Prudence, and Digital Wisdom Critical skills include: How to acquire new information; Learning how to learn; A positive attitude; and A quest for digital wisdom: • “Figure out where and when the ‘old’ wisdom still works, and where and when it doesn’t. And, in the latter case, we need to put something new its place (p. 7)” Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom (Prensky, 2012)
    • 22. Generally, students struggle with inquiry and online research… Generating important questions to solve a problem (McKenzie, 2005; Rothstein & Santana, 2011) Locating relevant information (Henry, 2006; Leu et al, 2005; Miller & Bartlett, 2012) Critically evaluating information (especially conflicting claims) (Metzger & Flanigan, 2008; Miller & Bartlett, 2012; Pew Internet Study, 2012) Synthesizing information from multiple sources and modes/formats (Killi, 2012; Rouet, 2006) Communicating their findings/solutions clearly in writing (e.g., argumentation) and with new technologies (e.g., email, blogs, wikis) (Sevensma, 2013)
    • 23. Findings from less skilled readers Elementary, middle, and high school students have few strategies for systematically locating information on the Internet – They struggle with… Generating and refining precise keyword searches Inferring which link might be most useful in a set of search results Efficiently scanning and navigating within websites Efficiently locating information that best suits their needs (e.g., Bilal, 2000, 2001; Eagleton & Guinee, 2002; Henry, 2006; Kuiper & Volman, 2008; Rouet, 2006, Sutherland-Smith, 2002)
    • 24. Conducting Google Searches Images of American History? Images American History Images American History: edu
    • 25. Reading within search results Which site features information about hieroglyphics? Who sponsors Site 4? What’s missing?
    • 26. Reading within complex websites
    • 27. Findings from less skilled readers Elementary and middle students have few strategies for critically judging the quality of information on the Internet – They struggle with… Determining the author and/or sponsor of a website Evaluating an author’s level of expertise Identifying the author’s point of view and one piece of evidence that illustrates that point of view Determining the overall reliability of a website with reasoned evidence to support their decision (e.g., Barzalai & Zohar, 2012; Coiro, 2013; Fabos, 2008; Forzani & Burlingame, 2012; Metzger & Flanigan, 2008; Miller & Bartlett, 2012; Walraven et al, 2009)
    • 28. The TICA Project: Leu, Reinking, et al. (2005-2008)
    • 29. Findings from less skilled readers Almost 20%! 80-88% of our large Grade 7 sample struggled with all three of these evaluation skills! Coiro (2013); Leu, Kulikowich, Sedransk, & Coiro (2009-2014)
    • 30. Sample student responses: Online Reading Comprehension Assessment (ORCA, 2012) Is the author an expert? Yes, because he talks a lot about the topic in this article Yes, I think he is because he made a chart. Yes, it has his job title at the bottom of the article. What is the author’s point of view and how does it affect the words and images used on the website? The point of view in the article is from Tim's point. It affects the words because it's like he's telling you himself. By the author’s craft – by the way he writes I guess. I think it’s 3rd person point of view.
    • 31. Sample student responses: Online Reading Comprehension Assessment (ORCA, 2012) Do you think the information at this site is reliable? No, because I have never heard of this site before. Yes because it says that many people use and it helps them. At the top it says official affiliate/unofficial opinions so I think it is reliable even though it’s a blog. In the third paragraph, he did a comparison with two companies, which shows it has to be pretty accurate. Yeah because it was posted on June 2, 2009. It could be. I’m not sure.
    • 32. Findings from less skilled readers Less skilled adolescent synthesizers… Know less about a topic at the outset which leads to more “ineffective traversals” (Sevensma, 2013) Seem less aware of task purpose as way to organize reading/synthesizing activities (Goldman et al., 2012) Prioritize content-relevance over other critical factors when choosing a text (Braasch et al., 2009) Are less likely to discriminate between more and less reliable online texts (Wiley et al., 2009; Goldman, et al., 2012)
    • 33. Findings from less skilled readers Less skilled adolescent synthesizers… Struggle to identify discontinuities or controversies presented across texts (Britt & Aglinksas, 2002; TICA Project)
    • 34. Humane Society Dog Musher
    • 35. Findings from less skilled readers As less skilled readers communicate a representation of their ideas they… Are less likely to have a “cohesive plan” or to carry out a plan that would lead to effective representation and communication of their message Generate less content in the same amount of time as their peers (Sevensma, 2013)
    • 36. What about attitudes and beliefs? Survey of Online Reading Dispositions (SORD) 20-item questionnaire (10 Likert-scale items and 8 open-ended interview questions) Likert-item subscales: useful, engaging, valuable, easy to use (r =.705) Open-ended items: scored 0 or 1 for total of 8 points Open-ended questions: (a) How approach; (b) How respond; (c): Self-efficacy • What is easiest for you about using the Internet for research? • What is hardest for you about using the Internet for research? • Can you think of a time when you had trouble finding something using the Internet? How do you feel when this happens? How long do you keep trying before you give up? • What do you know about using the Internet effectively that some kids your age might not know?
    • 37. What about attitudes and beliefs? Survey of Frequency of Internet Use 12 items (Entertainment, Communication, Information, Location) r = .636
    • 38. Role of Dispositions (mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs) Online Reading Dispositions (12 Likert items) (no additional variance explained) correlation r = .210, p <.05 R2 Offline Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Prior Knowledge Additional R2 Online Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Online Reading Dispositions Total R2 .351* .074 .154* .003NS .582*  Online Reading Dispositions (open ended items) (significant amount of additional variance explained) correlation r =.369, p<.001 R2 Offline Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Prior Knowledge Additional R2 Online Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Online Reading Dispositions Total R2 .355* .076 .142* .027* .600*
    • 39. Dispositions vs. Frequency of Internet Use  Frequency of Internet Use (no additional variance explained) R2 Offline Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Prior Knowledge Additional R2 Online Reading Comprehension Additional R2 Frequency of Internet Use Total R2 .351* .074 .154* .009NS .587*
    • 40. Online Reading Dispositions Coiro, J. (2012, April). Digital Literacies: Understanding dispositions toward reading on the Internet. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 55(7), 645-648.
    • 41. Opportunities… Challenges... Next Steps for Understanding Online Research and Comprehension
    • 42. Next steps… Reading online to locate information Continually re-examine our thinking about which locating skills are most important (rapidly emerging new tools, features, and affordances/constraints) Reading online to critically evaluate information: Deepen our understanding of cognitive abilities and limitations (Eastin, 2008): At what age can we expect learners to be able to make credibility judgments (e.g., identify author motives and perspectives; counterbalance information with multiple and conflicting sources)? Role of students’ personal epistemologies (ways of thinking about the nature of knowledge and knowing) and its impact on student competence in website evaluation (Barzalai & Zohar, 2012)
    • 43. Next steps… Reading online to synthesize information What are the underlying processes involved in how learners deconstruct, analyze, consolidate, organize, and integrate information from disparate sources (Schira-Hagerman, in process; DeSchryver, 2012)? How can collaborative partnerships and digital support tools (Coiro et al, 2012; 2013; Kiili et al. 2012, Kiili & Coiro, in process) scaffold complex online reading processes? Reading online to communicate information Turn attention toward readers and writers as media makers and socially active citizens (Hobbs, 2010; 2011; Hobbs & Moore, 2013) – How do we document students’ ability to collaboratively collect, share, generate, and creatively produce in ways that meet social demands of a participatory culture (e.g., Jenkins, 2006)?
    • 44. In summary… New reading and composing/making skills, practices, and dispositions are required to comprehend online information…and more are on the horizon! Tomorrow: How can educators support online readers?
    • 45. References Barzilai, S., & Zohar, A. (2012). Epistemic Thinking in Action: Evaluating and Integrating Online Sources. Cognition and Instruction, 30(1), 39–85. doi:10.1080/07370008.2011.636495 Bilal, D. (2000). Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: I. Cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors on fact-based search tasks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51(7), 646–665. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(2000)51:7<646::AID-ASI7>3.0.CO;2-A Bilal, D. (2001). Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: II. Cognitive and physical behaviors on research tasks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 52(2), 118–136. doi:10.1002/1097-4571(2000)9999:9999<::AID-ASI1038>3.3.CO;2-I Coiro, J. (2007). Exploring changes to reading comprehension on the Internet. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT. Eagleton, M. B., & Guinee, K. (2002). Strategies for supporting student Internet inquiry. New England Reading Association Journal, 38, 39–47. Fabos, B. (2008). The price of information: Critical literacy education and today’s Internet. . In J.Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D. Leu (Eds.), Handbook of research on new literacies (pp. 839-870). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum. Flanagin, A.J., and Metzger, M. (2008) Digital Media and Youth: Unparalleled Opportunity and Unprecedented Responsibility. In M.J. Metzger & A. J. Flanagin (Eds.) Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. (pp. 5–28). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. doi: 10.1162/dmal.9780262562324.005
    • 46. References Forzani, E. & Burlingame, C. (2012). Evaluating seventh grade students’ ability to critically evaluate online information. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CT. Hagerman, M.S. (in progress). The impact of Online Synthesis Instruction (OSI) on adolescents’ ability to construct an integrated understanding of science topics from multiple Internet texts. (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). Michigan State University: East Lansing, MI. Hartman, D. K., Morsink, P. M., & Zheng, J. (2010). From print to pixels: The evolution of cognitive conceptions of reading comprehension. In E. A. Baker (Ed.). The new literacies: Multiple perspectives on research and practice (pp. 131-164). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Henry, L. a. (2006). SEARCHing for an Answer: The Critical Role of New Literacies While Reading on the Internet. The Reading Teacher, 59(7), 614–627. doi:10.1598/RT.59.7.1 Hicks, T. (2013) Composing texts across media and genres. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Kuiper, E. & Volman, M. (2008). The web as a source of information for students in K-12 education. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D. Leu (Eds.), Handbook of research on new literacies (pp. 241266) New York: Lawrence Erlbaum. Leu, D. J., Kinzer, C. K., Coiro, J. L., & Cammack, D. W. (2004). Donald J. Leu, Jr., Charles K. Kinzer, Julie L. Coiro, and Dana W. Cammack. Theoretical models and processes of reading (pp. 1570– 1613).
    • 47. References Leu, D. J., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Hartman, D., Henry, L.A., & Reinking, D. (2008). Research on instruction and assessment in the new literacies of online reading comprehension. In Cathy Collins Block, Sherri Parris, & Peter Afflerbach (Eds.). Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices. New York: Guilford Press. Retrieved from http://www.newliteracies.uconn.edu/pub_files/instruction.pdf Miller, C. & Bartlett, J. (2012). ‘Digital fluency’: Toward young people’s critical use of the Internet. Journal of Information Literacy, 6(2), 35-55. Rouet, J.-F. (2006). The skills of document use: From text comprehension to web-based learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Sevensma, K. (2013). Negotiating new literacies in science: An examination of at-risk and averageachieving ninth-grade readers’ online reading comprehension strategies. (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). Michigan State University: East Lansing, MI. Sutherland-Smith, W. (2002). Weaving the literacy web: Changes in reading from page to screen. The Reading Teacher, 55, 662-669. Walraven, A., Brand-Gruwel, S., & Boshuizen, H. P. a. (2009). How students evaluate information and sources when searching the World Wide Web for information. Computers & Education, 52(1), 234– 246. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.08.003 Zhang, S., & Duke, N. K. (2008). Strategies for Internet reading with different reading purposes: A descriptive study of twelve good Internet readers. Journal of Literacy Research, 40, 128–162.
    • 48. Collaboratively Co-Construct Knowledge Social Practices: Request & give information; jointly acknowledge, evaluate, & build on partner’s contributions Cognitive Strategies: Read, question, monitor, repair, infer, connect, clarify, and interpret

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