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Instruction Ideas and Activities: Evaluating Sources

Creative activities RIO librarians use in library instruction

Information Evaluation - Sarah Ward

In this lesson, the focus is “Using lived experience to facilitate discussion of metacognition and information evaluation.” The lesson presents the evaluation tool, SIFT. Students then participate in evaluation by answering questions about real-world scenarios, such as investigating cell phone cost, features, purchasing options, and reviews. The lesson can be adapted for a 20-minute class if needed.

Visual Thinking Strategy - Kayla Flegal

This lesson emphasizes use of the Visual Thinking Strategy (VTR), curiosity in research, and the art of asking questions. Centered around three questions, students examine a picture and answer the questions, What’s going on in  the picture? What makes you say that? What else can we find? Students then find an image/quote related to a question they came up with from the picture.

Evaluating Research Sources -- Eric Bradley

This is a worksheet we use in our required first year experience courses to evaluate sources.  A source is presented on the projector screen and evaluated by the class.  Then, students are split into teams and evaluate a second source.

Scoundrels Day - Chris Bishop

A sixty minute source evaluation activity for a 300 or 600 level nursing research class. Students are split into small groups (four students or less) with a case study related to a and accompanying material to evaluate. The case materials will be similar to content that students will encounter in the nursing literature. Groups are given ten minutes to evaluate on their own, ten minutes with librarian assistance, followed by groups giving five minute presentations to the class.

Evaluating Resources - Jessica Mahoney

As a hook to a class lesson about evaluating sources and introducing the CRAAP tool, I begin with a scenario.  For example, I begin with  a clicker question with text such as "John Smith from the University of X wrote an article entitled "..." in 2010.  You are researching (insert topic), do you use this resource?" highly unlikely, unlikely, neutral, likely, or highly likely.  I have students vote, we view results, and they share with a partner and revote.  This is a great segway into a lecture on evaluating resources and the CRAAP tool.  Often, they mention several components of CRAAP which we can discuss.