Saturday, August 28, 2010

The first search result must be the best one right?

The International Journal of Communication just released the results of a study that will be of now surprise to most educators these days. The study of college freshman noted that students trust high Google search rankings too much.   Below is a excerpt from the study.

"The researchers observed 102 college freshmen performing searches on a computer for specific information—usually with Google, but also making use of Yahoo, SparkNotes, MapQuest, Microsoft (we assume this means Bing), Wikipedia, AOL, and Facebook. Most students clicked on the first search result no matter what it was, and more than a quarter of respondents said explicitly that they chose it because it was the first result. "In some cases, the respondent regarded the search engine as the relevant entity for which to evaluate trustworthiness, rather than the Web site that contained the information," wrote researchers Eszter Hargittai, Lindsay Fullerton, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, and Kristin Yates Thomas."   Article Courtesy of ARS Technica

Information literacy  has presented itself as an area of weakness for our students. The Internet has provided an unimaginable amount of information. How we located, organize and evaluate this information will determine the value of this access. Information literacy is not something that should just be taught in the media center. It must be a part of every subject area.

For more information and resources for teaching information literacy please visit my wiki page on the topic and the category listed on this blog.


1. image courtesy of ARS Technica
2. International Journal of Communication -
3. Ars Technica - Students trust high Google search rankings too much -