This is an activity that helps students develop an interdisciplinary search strategy in stages. Students define their topic, brainstorm questions related to their topic area, and connect these questions to the disciplines and experts where they might find more research and information. Students learn how to identify search tools & information sources based on their questions using the library’s website.

Discipline: Multidisciplinary

This think-pair-share activity in which students compare a popular and scholarly source will help them progress from answering observable questions (type of language and format) to analytical questions (intended audience). As a class, students will discuss their answers and talk about whether the popular source accurately represented the scholarly source.

Collaborators: Laura Poladian

Many academic and public libraries display their unique archives and special collections materials in exhibition spaces. With an array of primary sources and visuals, special collections exhibitions offer a wonderful venue for experiential learning of constructed narratives and perspectives. This Exhibition Explorer Card Deck is designed to guide students to experience close viewing of special collections materials through explicit steps for thinking rhetorically and critically in an exhibit space.

Collaborators: Lindsay Davis

This lesson is intended to increase students’ awareness of content types and how various source types are created in order to 1) assist them in accurate citation practices and 2) help them to effectively select and evaluate sources using basic indicators such as purpose, audience, authorship, and additional factors that shape the creation of the source.

A "jigsaw lite" activity to help students recognize that the information tools and systems they use in their everyday and academic lives are not neutral as existing power structures are reflected in the creation, organization, and access of information. Students work in small groups to read an assigned article about bias in a tool, source type, or system and answer questions to share with the larger class.

Discipline: Multidisciplinary

This lesson is designed for lower-division composition undergraduate students to learn frameworks for evaluating the audience and purpose of various information sources. After analyzing an array of sources for audience and purpose students can dig in to a source in more detail looking for markers of authority and discussing strategies for verifying claims.

BEAM Me Up is a one-shot session that works well in addition to a search strategies class, but can be done without. This session asks students to use the BEAM framework coined by Joseph Bizup to organize and synthesize research materials to create a complex and well-supported argument. Rather than evaluated sources using a checklist, the instructor using BEAM asks students to consider how the information will be used (and to consider how authors use information to build arguments). Adaptors may want to replace the sources given here with ones relevant to the students' curriculum.

Author: Anaya Jones

This is a participatory, variable lesson frame ready for you to modify to suit your instruction needs. This lesson and it's variations focuses on encouraging students to see themselves as information creators and part of the scholarly conversation and can also variously include conversations about about the scholarly information cycle and/or authority depending on instruction constraints and configuration.

Author: Beth Hoppe

This activity provides an interactive, student-centered, fun opportunity to explore skills of critical thinking and evaluation of resources. By allowing students to connect those things that they already know (even if they don’t know they know it) to larger concepts, we encourage them to trust themselves and to begin to develop their intuition as scholars, moving away from checklists and formulas for resource evaluation and toward a thoughtful critique of sources based on individual need and use.