Evaluating the Interwebz with Designated Skeptics

Submitted by Cristy Moran on March 3rd, 2016
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Short Description: 

This is a short, engaging activity suitable for learners of all levels. In it, students evaluate web sources that are provided by an instructor using the acronym CRAAP (currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and purpose). Students work together in groups and explore evaluation processes aloud, with guidance from the CRAAP cards and the instructor. This is an adaptation of various evaluating sources activities available in LIS literature and professional resources. This activity is ideally implemented as a kind of collaborative game moderated by the instructor. It is highly adaptable. o Students are grouped into 5 groups - one for each criterion of CRAAP. Each group will receive a CRAAP card or 3x5 index card with evaluation questions pertaining to Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, and Purpose – different for each table. o A source will be shared with the class on the projector. These sources will include scholarly articles, websites (blogs and orgs), and reference entries. It is essential that the instructor select sources that are relevant to their students (either by course, subject, or level) and that would be likely results on a student Internet search for a research topic/ question. o Each group will evaluate the source aloud on the single criterion they’ve been assigned. If it “passes,” then the source gets asked the next question. If it “fails,” the source is dismissed. o This activity can be repeated with various websites or web sources.

Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.): 

CRAAP Cards print 2 sided for criterion (ex: Currency) on one side and questions (ex: What date...?) on back.

CRAAP Cards 2 sidedDownloaded 122 times3.97 MB
Learning Outcomes: 

o Students will examine sources for currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and purpose. o Students will explain how different elements of a source (author, date, scope, slant, reading level, etc.) effect how the source meets or doesn’t meet their information gathering needs.

Individual or Group:

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This is implemented in one-shot library instruction sessions at a state college. It has also been implemented as a way to model the activity in professional faculty workshops.

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips: 

This activity is engaging, student-centered, and metacognitive. It is recommended that instructors curate a list of acceptable or recommended Internet resources for their various subject areas and use those among not recommended web sources for this exercise.

Suggested Citation: 
Moran, Cristy. "Evaluating the Interwebz with Designated Skeptics." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2016.