Authority is Constructed and Contextual

For a performance task/ assignment, students will be expected to find evidence to investigate a pseudoscientific claim or conspiracy theory. They will be submitting a two-page paper to their Chemistry professor in which they make a case that either supports the claim or rejects it. They will be expected to use both library and credible online sources for support. The performance task will follow a full 75-minute library instruction session in which students will learn to:construct various search phrases for use in online and library search tools  use certain evaluation criteria (e.g. CRAAP) to assess the credibility of online sources  examine sources for relevance to their research question and search need (specifically, to determine credibility of claims)Throughout the class, an example claim will be used for searches. Either one of the following is recommended:Feng Shui – or the arrangement of furniture according to Chinese philosophy – can positively or negatively impact your wealth, health, happiness, and prosperity.President John F. Kennedy was not assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald – or his assassination is the result of a conspiracy of various entities and agents. Materials included:The full sequenced instruction outline for the face-to-face library instruction session. The assignment prompt for the performance task. CRAAP handout. 
Contributor: Cristy Moran
Resource Type(s): ActivityAssignment Prompt
Discipline(s): Interdisciplinary
License Assigned: CC Attribution License CC-BY
Students will be exposed to various entry points of a sustainability topic in various formats.This lesson is to serve as an introduction to different types of sources that can be used to learn about and research topics - including multimedia sources, Internet, and scholarly articles - and the attributes of different kinds of sources. They will take notes as they hear/read the sources using Elements of Thought (based on Paul-Elder's critical thinking model) and reflect in small groups to evaluate the credibility of the sources and what next steps they will take to further research. This is a face-to-face, in-class activity. The duration of the in-class activities for this lesson is approximately 60-75 minutes. Length and difficulty of content should be considered when selecting the examples.It is highly adaptable for content and theme although it was designed, originally, for a faculty member whose first-year composition class is themed around sustainability. Instructor will select various source types to explore a single topic. Possible sustainability-themed examples include: food deserts, clean water in the US, bee colony collapse, etc.Source types should include:One short-form video product (I.e. TED Talk, video essay, documentary clip, recorded speech, or other topical video informational product)One published essay, opinion editorial, or commentaryOne informative (unbiased) article or reference entry.
Contributor: Cristy Moran
Resource Type(s): Activity
Discipline(s): InterdisciplinaryOther
License Assigned: CC Attribution License CC-BY
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.Students are grouped into 5 groups - one for each criterion of CRAAP. Each group will receive a CRAAP card or 3x5 index card/ handout/ other with evaluation questions pertaining to Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, and Purpose – different for each table. These are the "designated skeptics" of their criterion. They set out as skeptics and they are explicitly challenged to be challenging, and the rest of the class is directed to challenge them as well with probing open-ended questions. 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.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. The criterion can be called out in order - that is, according to CRAAP - but they can also be called out randomly to be evaluated. This activity can be repeated with various websites or web sources.
Contributor: Cristy Moran
Resource Type(s): Activity
Discipline(s): Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: CC Attribution License CC-BY
Following a face-to-face library instruction session, students are assigned a short paper in which they select two [web] sources from a list and evaluate them using specific criteria (i.e. currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose). A real-life scenario is presented and real sources are provided from the first pages of Google search results. Learning OutcomesStudents will construct various search phrases for use in online search toolsStudents will use certain evaluation criteria (e.g. CRAAP) to assess the credibility of online sourcesStudents will examine sources for relevance to their research question and search need (specifically, to determine credibility of claims)Materials include: Full lesson - description, sequenced instruction (i.e. outline), and performance taskAssignment Assignment with suggested answer keyRubric CRAAP handout 
Contributor: Cristy Moran
Resource Type(s): ActivityRubric
Discipline(s): Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: CC Attribution License CC-BY
This hands-on activity was piloted as part of a teach-in on fake news at Purchase College, SUNY. To convey the idea that “fake news” exists on a continuum, we did a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey activity using a blank version of Vanessa Otero’s "Media Bias" chart. The chart is a useful tool for showing the nuances between nonfactual, biased, and inflammatory news sources. Participants are asked to research a news media organization and decide where to place it on the chart, then compare their choices to Otero's original infographic. The ensuing discussion fits nicely with the ACRL Threshold Concept: “Authority is constructed and contextual” and can relate to "Research as Inquiry" or "Information as Value" as well, if economic factors related to the press and clickbait websites are discussed. The concept of a source being on a spectrum of “complex vs. clickbait” adds an additional layer of complexity for students who are used to focusing on binaries such as: liberal vs. conservative or “trustworthy vs. fake.” The details of how to implement this activity as well as copies of Otero's chart are attached.
Contributor: Darcy Gervasio
Discipline(s): InterdisciplinaryOther
License Assigned: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License CC-BY-NC-SA
In light of the proliferation of fake news and just plain erroneous news, this assignment tries to give students tools and strategies for evaluating the information that comes to them via social media and other outlets. Students identify one news story and thoroughly investigate it, including using CRAAP criteria, searching for other articles on the same topic, and checking factchecking sites.
Contributor: Shellie Jeffries
Resource Type(s): Worksheet
Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed: Authority is Constructed and Contextual
Discipline(s): Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License CC-BY-NC-SA
The Inform Your Thinking video series introduces students to the frames of the ACRL Framework in an easy-to-understand manner by using conversational tone, approachable peer hosts, relatable comparisons, and eye-catching graphics. This video introduces students to the Authority is Constructed and Contextual frame by showing how being an authority on a topic varies by context and information need, and may shift from one situation to the next. Students will glean tips for discerning authority with academic topics by deciphering author credibility, recognizing the value of peer-review, and examining the evidence. 
Contributor: Cristina Colquhoun
Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed: Authority is Constructed and Contextual
Discipline(s): Multidisciplinary
License Assigned: CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC
This lesson plan from Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, edited by Patricia Bravender, Hazel McClure, and Gayle Schaub and contributed by Nancy Fawley, provides beginning students with a checklist to get them thinking critically about information’s origins, purpose, and complexity, and takes them into a deeper discussion about how to apply those evaluative criteria.
Resource Type(s): Lesson PlanPublication
Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed: Authority is Constructed and Contextual
Discipline(s): Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: All Rights Reserved
This recipe from The First-Year Experience Cookbook, edited by Raymond Pun and Meggan Houlihan and written by Jenny Yap and Sonia Robles, helps introduce first-year English and ESL composition students to the differences between scholarly and popular sources.
Resource Type(s): ActivityPublication
License Assigned: CC Attribution License CC-BY
This recipe from The First-Year Experience Cookbook, edited by Raymond Pun and Meggan Houlihan and written by Jacalyn Bryan and Elana Karshmer, describes a three-part orientation activity designed to introduce new students to library resources and services.
Resource Type(s): ActivityPublication
Discipline(s): Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License CC-BY-NC-SA

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