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Information Literacy & Library Engagement: Action Research: 1. Evaluating Information Sources

Before Class (pre-assignment #1)

Before class complete the following two assignments.

1. Watch the 9 minute TED talk by Eli Pariser, "Beware online 'filter bubble'."

2. Search Google for: istanbul. 
Print the first page of your search results and bring the printout to class.

Be prepared to discuss your results in class.  Are they relevant?  Trustworthy?  Choose the source of information you would feel most comfortable using according to the evaluation criteria located on this page.

Criteria for Evaluating Information Sources: A Starting Point

The CRAAP Test is a list of questions you can ask in order to determine if the information you have is reliable. Please keep in mind that the following list of questions is not static or complete. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.
Evaluation Criteria

Currency: The timeliness of the information.
• When was the information published or posted?
• Has the information been revised or updated? 
• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
• Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? 
• Who is the intended audience?
• Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
• Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
Authority:  The source of the information.
• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
• Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations given?
• What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
Accuracy:  The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.
• Where does the information come from?
• Is the information supported by evidence? 
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
Purpose:  The reason the information exists.
• What is the purpose of the information?  to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
• Is there a clear political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal perspective present?

Discussion Questions

What is the danger of the personalization of the Internet that leads to what Pariser calls a "filter bubble"?

What do you do to escape your own filter bubble?

Do we live in "filter bubbles" in our lives outside of the Internet? Explain these "in real life" filter bubbles.