Searching the Internet and Assessing Information Quality

Format Publication ID Version Published
Tutorial, Reference 8441 1 September 12, 2011
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Description

Teaching search skills is often considered not necessary for the current generation of incoming dental students. It is true that the degree of computer literacy for incoming students is gradually rising, but on the other hand even basic knowledge about computers is far from universal. For instance, a 2006 study found that nearly half of 308 participating college-age students enrolled in courses at the College of Health Sciences at a Midwestern university had trouble discriminating between primary and secondary sources and that two thirds of them were unable to understand or apply boolean operators when searching (Ivanitskaya 2006). There is a difference between “digital comfort” and "technology proficiency.“ This resource attempts to improve students' “information fluency” or "information literacy" which can be defined as "the ability to access, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources" which has become a critical skill for professional students. As the Horizon 2010 report points out: "Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. The challenge is due to the fact that despite the widespread agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in any discipline..."

Note: This MedEdPORTAL tool includes large downloadable files.  If you experience difficulty downloading these files, please contact mededportal@aamc.org to receive a free CD version via mail.

Citation

Spallek H. Searching the Internet and Assessing Information Quality. MedEdPORTAL; 2011. Available from: www.mededportal.org/publication/8441

Educational Objectives

This Learning Module will help you master advanced methods for searching the Internet and allow you to comprehensively evaluate the information quality of health-related Websites. First, I will ask you to post your opinions about the Google generation on the module's blog. Then, you will watch two short podcasts and go through the associated readings. After you are done with the readings, you can access a graded assignment in which you will review messages regarding amalgam toxicity posted on the newsgroup sci.med.dentistry. A practice test will allow you to assess your knowledge.

Keywords

  • Informatics (MeSH), Search Engine (MeSH), Information Storage and Retrieval (MeSH), Information Quality Discipline

Discipline

  • Dental
    • Critical Thinking

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Professional Interest

  • Health Education
  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Study

Join the Conversation

Share your thoughts with other users. Please sign in to comment on this material.

Material Access

Please sign in to access this material.

Please register for an AAMC account if you do not have one.

Register

Browse Publications

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Receive featured content and announcements!

  • MedEdPORTAL Home
  • Register
  • My MedEdPORTAL
  • Contact Us