Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Scholarship is Not Neutral: Using Positionality Statements for Source Evaluation

Beginning college students often make assumptions that scholarly sources are inherently bias-free. Students may also hold the belief that if they find a source through a library database, it is automatically a useful and neutral viewpoint on a topic. These mindsets can limit students’ motivation to apply evaluation strategies beyond establishing credibility based on the author’s credentials.This lesson plan introduces the concept of positionality statements to help students understand that scholars do not leave their identities and life experiences behind when they conduct research. Students practice a new way to evaluate and understand the perspective–and limitations–that scholars bring to their research.The lesson plan is designed for first-year composition courses in which students are asked to develop a research topic based on their interests or experiences. It could be adapted for upper-level undergraduate courses in the social sciences.

Resource Type(s):

Discipline(s): 
EnglishMultidisciplinary
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

True or False: Authority is Constructed and Contextual

The goal of this activity is to help students develop a broader understanding how authority is determined and what types of sources are considered appropriate in different contexts. It is also intended to help address some of the misconceptions that students have related to the source evaluation process. 

Resource Type(s):

Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed:

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Authority is Constructed and Contextual Overview

This web resource provides a brief overview of the concept Authority is Constructed and Contextual. It includes a video, a concept description, and the related knowledge practices and dispositions. 

Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed:

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Lateral Reading: Respond, Review, Reflect

The goal of this activity is to help students start to think critically about the evaluation strategies that they have learned and whether they support the effective evaluation of information. Students will learn about the lateral reading strategy for evaluation and compare it to their existing evaluation process. 

Resource Type(s):

Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed:

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Annotated Bibliography Assignment Assessment

Sample Excel sheet for recording multiple variables and characteristics when assessing student Annotated Bibliography assignments. 

Resource Type(s):

Discipline(s): 
Multidisciplinary
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Bibliography: Reports on Misinformation & Media/News Literacy

Reports from leading organizations on Misinformation & Media/News Literacy

Resource Type(s):

Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed:

License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Background vs. Scholarly - What's the Difference?

This activity is designed to help students understand the difference between background sources and scholarly sources. Students will read a quick overview of the key differences between these source types, and then they will be asked to classify five sample sources. For each source, they will make an initial judgment based on a screenshot and then take a closer look at the full source to see if their gut instinct was correct. Correct answers and explanations are provided for each source.This activity is suitable for in-person, synchronous online, and asynchronous online instruction. It is self-paced and takes most students between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. The activity is hosted on Microsoft Sway, and it can be completed on a computer, tablet, phone, or any device with an internet connection.

Resource Type(s):

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Syllabus: MAcc Business Research for Valuation Professionals Immersion week

These materials accompany the book chapter 7 "Database Scavenger Hunt and Analysis for Accounting Students" from Teaching Business Information Literacy published by ACRL Press.

Resource Type(s):

Discipline(s): 
AccountingBusiness

Type of Institution:

License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-ShareAlike License CC-BY-SA

Understanding and Critiquing the Peer Review Process

Goal: The primary goal of the activity or assignment is for students to develop an increased understanding of the peer review process and how it is connected to the authority or credibility of different information sources. Students will also be encouraged to consider some of the criticisms that have been raised about the process and consider alternatives for determining authoritative sources within a field or discipline.Learning Outcomes:Explain the basic process of scholarly peer reviewExplore how the peer review process is used to identify or establish authoritative or credible works within a fieldCritically examine the peer review process, considering it in connection with issues such as access and bias

Resource Type(s):

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial License CC-BY-NC

Authority is Constructed and Contextual Infographic

This resource provides an overview of the concept Authority is Constructed and Contextual from the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. A brief overview of the concept is provided and several of the related knowledge practices and dispositions are highlighted. 

Information Literacy Frame(s) Addressed:

Discipline(s): 
Not Discipline Specific
License Assigned: 
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License CC-BY-NC-SA

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