Online environments: Young people as information users

In this sub-project post doctoral researcher Noora Hirvonen concentrates on the ways young people construct health related cognitive authorities in their free time. When compared to formal school settings, in informal and non-formal environments, authentic information needs and lack of centralized authority figures are highlighted. Moreover, peers can become important cognitive authorities.

Although this study does not focus on cognitive authorities in schools, it benefits from data collected in the school-focused sub-studies. These include student interviews and classroom observation data. Additionally, young people’s discussions in Finnish online forums Suomi24 and Demi and questionnaire data collected from the users of the Demi forum are analysed.

In this study, the concept of cognitive authority is connected to that of information literacy. The ability to recognize different authorities is viewed to be part of competencies shaped as people interact with information and develop ways of recognising what kind of information is important and reliable and how this information can be accessed and used.

The examination of young people’s cognitive authorities in everyday information environments continues in an Academy of Finland funded postdoctoral project Authority and Agency in Making Informed Decisions on Immunization.

Publications connected to this sub-study:

Hirvonen, N., Enwald, E., Mayer, A-K., Korpelainen, R., Pyky, R., Salonurmi, T., Savolainen, M. J., Nengomasha, C., Abankwah, R., Uutoni, W., Niemelä, R., & Huotari, M-L. (2020, early view). Screening everyday health information literacy among four populations. Health Information and Libraries Journal. doi: 10.1111/hir.12304. You can read the article here.

Nygård T., Hirvonen N., Räisänen, S., & Korkeamäki, R.-L. (2020, accepted). Ask your mother! Teachers’ informational authority roles in information-seeking and evaluation tasks in health education lessons. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research.

Hirvonen, N., & Palmgren-Neuvonen, L. (2019). Cognitive authorities in health education classrooms: A nexus analysis on group-based learning tasks. Library & Information Science Research, 41(3), 100964. You can read the article here.

Multas, A. M., & Hirvonen, N. (2019). Employing nexus analysis in investigating information literacy. Information Research, 24(4), CoLIS paper 1944. You can read the article here.

Hirvonen, N., Nygård, T., Palmgren-Neuvonen, L., Huhta, A-M., & Huotari, M-L. (2019) Finnish school health education viewed through an information literacy lens. Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Literacy 2018. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland (Communications in Computer and Information Science). You can read the article here.

Hirvonen, N., Tirroniemi, A. & Kortelainen, T. (2019) The cognitive authority of user-generated health information in an online forum for girls and young women. Journal of Documentation,75(1), 78–98, doi: 10.1108/JD-05-2018-0083

Huhta, A-M., Hirvonen, N. & Huotari, M-L. (2018) Health literacy in web-based health information environments: systematic review of concepts, definitions, and operationalization for measurement. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(12):e10273. doi: 10.2196/10273

Huhta, A-M., Hirvonen, N. & Huotari, M-L. (2018) Concepts related to health literacy in online information environments: a systematic review. Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Literacy 2017. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland.  (Communications in Computer and Information Science series), pp. 460–469.

Last updated: 24.4.2020