Reading for Reliability: Preservice Teachers Evaluate Web Sources About Climate Change

Document Type


Publication Date



To inform instruction, as inquiry, Depth of (higher level, literal level, etc.), Metacognition, Text features, text structure, Content literacy, Text types, text features, Critical analysis, Specific media (hypertext, Internet, film, music, etc.), Nonfiction, Formative experiments, design experiments, Informational text, Metacognitive strategies, Preservice, Critical literacy, 3‐Early adolescence, 4‐Adolescence, 5‐College/university students

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



This study examined what happened when 65 undergraduate prospective secondary level teachers across content areas evaluated the reliability of four online sources about climate change: an oil company webpage, a news report, and two climate change organizations with competing views on climate change. The students evaluated the sources at three time intervals based on 1. a screenshot of each source; 2. full web access to each source and prompted with critical questions to answer; and 3. after a whole class discussion about each source. Having the opportunity to evaluate the sources three times led students to modify their reliability ratings. Findings also reveal challenges some participants had differentiating between facts and opinions as well as distinctions in what they determined to be evidence in a source.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, v. 60, issue 3, p. 275-285