How dependent are we on others to forming our own opinions?
One topic I want to approach with students when school begins is a survey about how they form their opinions of social and media topics. Is it through their social network (What do they consider their social network?), their immediate friends, their teachers, their online resources, their readings, their family, their church community or what? How much of their opinion is based on experience?
I’m hoping to provoke them into a deeper reflection about how they form opinions and how opinions are categorized in the first place. My survey is fairly open-ended because I don’t want to limit their expression, and I want to learn from them. The best way to do that is to not channel their thought process too much. One process I want to activate will be to give them a scenario and asking them how they form an opinion about it. Through that type of activation it should be insightful what their process is.
The purpose for the survey is so I can show it to our faculty. Those that don’t have children or that have younger children can see the direction our students take to form opinions. Those that have children the same age as our students will gain insight on their own child rearing. Most importantly, all the faculty will hopefully understand how we approach information sharing with students, how much impact we have in our daily contact with students, and how we can change or further impact student opinion.
Some basic questions:
- Where do you learn about local and national news?
- Would you say you form opinions based more on your face-to-face contacts or your online contacts?
- What social networking sites do you use?
- How much of your opinion is formed by what your friends say online?
- Do you express your opinions online, or do you read and listen to opinions expressed but remain silent?
- Have you ever changed your opinion based on online communications?
- Do you ever research an opinion you’ve read to find out more about it?
- Do you access links that your social network provides?
- Do you provide links yourself to topics for which you express an opinion?