Social challenges

Students who are taught how to detect bias are more likely to distinguish fact from opinion

25/05/2021 PNG

Digital literacy is a cornerstone skill needed by the next generation to successfully tackle challenges around the world. According to data from PISA, less than half of 15-year-olds in OECD countries can accurately distinguish between fact and opinion in online sources.

Education on discerning between fact and opinion is shown to have a significant effect on the likelihood a student can correctly distinguish between the two. Students who learned digital literacy in school and had home Internet access performed better in the PISA reading assessment.

In which countries are students best able to detect whether information is subjective or biased? This graph shows that students in the United States, the United Kingdom and Turkey were the most discerning. Outside of the OECD, students in Hong Kong (China) and Singapore were above the OECD average in distinguishing between subjective and biased information.

Schools act as a crucial point of transmission of digital knowledge because many disadvantaged students do not have access to the Internet at home. Extended school closures, as experienced during the pandemic, may result in a widening gap between students with and without access to electronic resources at home.

Discover more at 21st-Century Readers: Developing Literacy Skills in a Digital World.