Montana Tech Library
This is an evaluation activity that I use in my classes after going over information evaluation. After discussing the importance of evaluating information online and in their day-to-day lives, we transition to talking about how even though some information may look academic, it’s still useful to think critically about the context. I typically project the content onto a screen so that the class can work through and discuss it together, but it can also delivered as a handout.
The idea is to encourage students to evaluate academic information based on the details provided on a database article listing.
In the first example, the red flags are:
Currency (an article on social media published in 2007 is probably not the best available source for information on this topic)
Evidence (the sampling used in the survey is woefully lacking)
In the second example, the red flags is:
Authority (the chief design officer of Apple has a conflict of interest when discussing the merits of headphone design)
In the third example, the red flags are:
Publication (Newsweek is not the best available source for medical information)
Authority (while the author is a doctor, she is not a medical doctor)
I close the activity by encouraging the students to reflect on the importance of critical thinking and context not only when browsing non-academic information, but also when doing scholarly research.