The ability to critically access, analyze, evaluate, and create media messages is crucial in the process of becoming an informed and engaged citizen throughout life. Asking critical questions is not only a valuable dimension of media literacy, but also an indispensable aspect of participating in a democracy. Yet, measuring the effectiveness of media literacy is still a major challenge for the field. It is unclear to what extent people of all ages may engage in critical questioning habits with regards to media. To address this gap, we studied the changes in critical questioning habits for college-aged students enrolled in media literacy courses. To measure students’ media literacy inquiry, we evaluated the questions they posed in response to viewing an advertisement. We analyzed questions by media literacy concept and by level of complexity before and after their participation in the media literacy courses. Findings revealed that after the media literacy courses, students’ inquiries were more complex and involved more attention to key concepts related to production techniques and representations. Our study is significant as it reflects an innovative approach to media literacy assessment and a fresh perspective for examining the impact of media literacy on cultivating complex, critical thinking skills that could be applied with learners of all ages.
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Schilder, E., & Redmond, T. (2019). Measuring Media Literacy Inquiry in Higher Education: Innovation in Assessment. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 95-121. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2019-11-2-6
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