There are many methods out there to help students evaluate the content they see online. While they all share similarities, they are all distinct. Take a look at the few here to see which one you might want to use with your students.
Evaluating Information with the CRAAP Method
Information is literally at our fingertips. But finding good information can be a little trickier. By applying the CRAAP method when you evaluate sources, you will be able to differentiate between the good, the bad, and the ugly. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Use the questions posed below on your sources to see if they stack up!
And remember, use the CRAAP Method on all information you come across!
Consider the importance of currency for the following sources:
How relevant would the following sources be for your paper?
Are the following authoritative sources?
Consider what these points might mean for a resource's accuracy:
Remember: information can have political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal bias. Is it fact, opinion, or propaganda?
What do you think the purpose of the following could be?
Evaluating Information with the ACT UP Method
In order to be responsible cultural producers of information (as opposed to being cultural consumers), we need to think critically about the resources we are using and citing in our projects. It is no longer enough to just say a resource is peer-reviewed or scholarly. We are now aware of the institutionalized oppressions that exist in the publication and dissemination of information. By definition, ACT UP means to act in a way that is different from normal. We know that normal usually means the patriarchy and the systemic oppression of poc and other marginalized groups' contributions to the conversation. To ACT UP, means to actively engage in dismantling oppressions and acting upwards to create a more socially just system.
.edu, .org, .gov are more reliable than .com and .net
Be wary of domain names that have the word 'blogger' or 'wordpress' in the address as they indicate personal blogs.
Pay attention to ".com.co". This usually indicates it is a fake site pretending to be a legitimate news site of the same name.
But, remember some domain names might be country specific like .ca for Canada.
When encountering a claim that you are not sure is true, you need to find ways to get closer to the truth. Use these four moves and a habit to help you fact-check:
The habit: Check your emotions. When you feel a strong emotion about something you read online, stop and fact-check. When you feel overly happy or angry when you read a particular claim, you may not immediately think to fact-check because you think it confirms something you feel. Take those claims back through the four moves to verify.
To get practice evaluating sources, have your students use one of the methods above as they read through one of these sources.