Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 345–360 | Cite as

Undergraduates' Evaluations of Developmental Claims and Their Identification of Information Sources

  • Sherry K. Bain
  • Robert L. Williams
  • Rachael Isaacs
  • Ashley Williams
  • Susan Stockdale


Students in a large human development course rated the accuracy of 50 developmental claims. Half of the claims were specifically embedded in the course content, but the remaining claims were not addressed in the course. Students also identified the major information source for each developmental claim rated. From the beginning to the end of the course, students (especially high performers) improved in evaluating the accuracy of course-related developmental claims and increasingly attributed their ratings of these claims to professional information sources. Our study underscores the importance of sensitizing students to the role of research evidence in judging the credibility of claims in general education courses.


developmental claims information sources evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry K. Bain
    • 1
  • Robert L. Williams
    • 1
  • Rachael Isaacs
    • 2
  • Ashley Williams
    • 2
  • Susan Stockdale
    • 3
  1. 1.Educational Psychology and CounselingUniversity of TennesseeTennesseeUSA
  2. 2.School Psychology ProgramUniversity of TennesseeTennesseeUSA
  3. 3.Educational Psychology and Middle Grades EducationKennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA

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