• Enhancing primary school children’s knowledge of online safety and risks with the CATZ co-operative cross-age teaching intervention: Results from a pilot study

      Boulton, Michael J.; Boulton, Louise; Camerone, Eleonora; Down, James; Hughes, Joanna; Kirkbride, Chloe; Kirkham, Rachel; Macaulay, Peter; Sanders, Jessica; University of Chester (Mary Ann Liebert, 2016-10-01)
      Children are heavy users of the internet and prior studies have shown that many of them lack a good understanding of the risks of doing so and how to avoid them. This study examined if the Cross-Age Teaching Zone (CATZ) intervention could help children acquire important knowledge of online risks and safety. It allowed older students to act as CATZ tutors to design and deliver a lesson to younger schoolmates (tutees), using content material about online risks and safety provided by adults. Students in Year 6 (mean age = 11.5 years) were randomly assigned to act as either CATZ tutors (n= 100) or age-matched controls (n = 46) and students in Year 4 (mean age = 9.5 years) acted as either CATZ tutees (n = 117) or age-matched controls (n = 28) (total N = 291). CATZ tutors but not matched controls scored significantly higher on objective measures of knowledge of both online risks and safety, and CATZ tutees but not matched controls did so for online safety. Effect sizes were moderate or large. CATZ was highly acceptable to participants. The results suggest that CATZ is a viable way to help school students learn about online dangers and how to avoid them.