Excerpt below from: https://www.scienceofboosting.org/digital-cognitive/
What is the boost?
Which challenges does the boost tackle?
How does it work?
Which competences does the boost foster?
What is the evidence behind it?
Wineburg and McGrew (2017, 2019) conducted a study with Stanford undergraduates, university professors, and professional fact-checkers to determine the most effective strategies for evaluating the credibility of information online. Whereas undergraduates and professors stayed on the web page and read vertically, fact-checkers, when landing on an unfamiliar website, opened new tabs and read “laterally”, that is, they verified the source’s credibility on the web. Lateral reading was also included in a school curricula (Civic Online Reasoning curriculum): Students in the treatment group (which included teaching lateral reading strategy) were more likely to accurately judge a website’s credibility compared to a control group (McGrew et al, 2019; McGrew, 2020). In another recent field experiment, Wineburg et al. (2022) demonstrated that students in treatment classrooms (n = 271) grew significantly in their ability to judge the credibility of digital content compared to students in control classrooms (n = 228).
- Brodsky, J. E., Brooks, P. J., Scimeca, D., Todorova, R., Galati, P. Batson, M., Grosso, R., Matthews, M., Miller, V., & Caulfield, M. (2021). Improving college students’ factchecking strategies through lateral reading instruction in a general education civics course. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-021-00291-4
- McGrew, S., Smith, M., Breakstone, J., Ortega, T., Wineburg, S. (2019). Improving university students’ web savvy: An intervention study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 485–500. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12279
- McGrew, S. (2020). Learning to evaluate: An intervention in civic online reasoning. Computers & Education, 145, 103711. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103711
- Wineburg, S., Breakstone, J., McGrew, S., Smith, M. D., & Ortega, T. (2022). Lateral reading on the open Internet: A district-wide field study in high school government classes. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000740
- Wineburg, S., & McGrew, S. (2017). Lateral reading: Reading less and learning more when evaluating digital information. Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3048994
- Wineburg, S., & McGrew, S. (2019). Lateral reading and the nature of expertise: Reading less and learning more when evaluating digital information. Teachers College Record, 121, 1–40. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1262001
This short video from the Stanford History Education Group explains how to use lateral reading and outlines the research behind it. Source: Stanford History Education Group (2020).