Weber Lab

Critical online reasoning of students in medical higher education

Group Leader

Dr. Maruschka Weber


What we do

Scientific Focus

Students in medical higher education are learning to a high degree with online information sources for their studies, but relevant online content is often not made available within the framework of courses. In doing so, they have to determine which sources are reliable or correspond to a scientific background. Little is known about the key criteria and influences of students in selecting and processing online information in higher education, though. Moreover, the medical profession requires a lifelong sound ability to stay informed about new medical research findings and treatment options, a lot of which is accessible as online information.

In the framework of the DFG research group CORE (FOR 5404) we aim to identify task-solving strategies of high- and low-performing medical students solving generic as well as domain specific tasks in the open online environment. We also investigate the effects of prior domain knowledge as well as the influence of narrative features of web information on differences of task-solving strategies and COR (critical online reasoning) performances. Identifying successful strategies will allow us to generate valuable educational interventions in the future.

We are part of the newly established Research Group “CORE” funded by the DFG: as well as the international research program PLATO:


We use a process mining approach that includes task solving data (e.g., internet log data) as well as eye tracking (ET) data during medical students’ task solving and additional retrospective think-aloud (RTA) protocols. By combining these process data with students’ interviews (RTA) in mediation analysis, we can find critical successful patterns and identify successful online reasoning strategies.


Anika Kohmer