The SPRITE+ funded 'Revealing Young Learners’ Mental Models of Online Sludge' project team have published their first white paper.
In this paper, the team report on the literature related to understanding young learners’ mental models related to deceptive “dark patterns” used by malicious agents online: so-called sludge. They also discuss elicitation of mental models, particularly when carrying out activities to reveal the mental models of young learners. In addition, they review the ethical considerations when carrying out research in this domain. Finally, we propose the design of an activity to implement the lessons we have learned to assess the sludge-related mental models of young learners.
The project team secured funding during the most recent SPRITE+ sandpit, which focused on the topic of digital vulnerabilities. The team is led by Dr Karen Renaud (University of Strathclyde), Dr Bryan Clift (University of Bath), Dr Ben Morrison (Northumbria University), Dr Kovila Coopamootoo (Newcastle University), Dr Cigdem Sengul (Brunel University), Dr Mark Springett (Middlesex University), Dr Jacqui Taylor (Bournemouth University) and Brain Higgins (Comparitech.com).
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