Using Controlled and Field Experiments to Create and Test Digital News Quizzes


Local communities often struggle to have their public affairs information needs met. The authors of this case identified one way in which local newsrooms could better inform and engage their users: embedding news quizzes on their websites. This case study overviews the controlled and field experiments used to test the effects of news quizzes. The methods, and their limitations, are described, along with the decisions that the researchers made related to the participants, stimuli, measures, and research partner used in the project. The researchers also provide practical details about how they collaborated with a survey research firm, built a relationship with a newsroom, and statistically analyzed the data. The case concludes by suggesting some general lessons learned: Social science research is collaborative, multi-methodological approaches help build confidence in research findings, and research that builds bridges between academics and practitioners is important.

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