A review of technologies for collaborative online information seeking. On the contribution of collaborative argumentation
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In everyday life, people seek, evaluate, and use online sources to underpin opinions and make decisions. While education must promote the skills people need to critically question the sourcing of online information, it is important, more generally, to understand how to successfully promote the acquisition of any skills related to seeking online information. This review outlines technologies that aim to support users when they collaboratively seek online information. Upon integrating psychological–pedagogical approaches on trust in and the sourcing of online information, argumentation, and computer-supported collaborative learning, we reviewed the literature (N= 95 journal articles) on technologies for collaborative online information seeking. The technologies we identified either addressed collaborative online information seeking as an exclusive process for searching for online information or, alternatively, addressed online information seeking within the context of a more complex learning process. Our review was driven by three main research questions: We aimed to understand whether and how the studies considered 1) the role of trust and critical questioning in the sourcing of online information, 2) the learning processes at play when information seekers engage in collaborative argumentation, and 3) what affordances are offered by technologies that support users’ collaborative seeking of online information. The reviewed articles that focused exclusively on technologies for seeking online information primarily addressed aspects of cooperation (e.g., task management), whereas articles that focused on technologies for integrating the processes of information seeking into the entire learning processes instead highlighted aspects of collaborative argumentation (e.g., exchange of multiple perspectives and critical questioning in argumentation). Seven of the articles referred to trust as an aspect of seekers’ sourcing strategies. We emphasize how researchers’, users’, and technology developers’ consideration of collaborative argumentation could expand the benefits of technological support for seeking online information.