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Information Literacy: Evaluating Sources Lessons

Sources that disagree & confirmation bias

SLO:

  • Students will apply evaluative criteria to arguments to determine the validity of each side
  • Students will analyze sources from all sides of a controversial topic to inform their argument
  • Students will learn to consider differences and disagreements in scholarship

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will provide small groups with articles on opposing sides of an issue. Students will work together to answer questions that will help them evaluate each source. Students will then be broken up into two “debate” teams. Each team will take a different side of the issue. Students will be given a few minutes to find additional resources to support their side of the argument. When presenting their findings, they will also answer several questions about how finding and considering information that supported the other side of the argument was helpful to them.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

 

Primary vs Secondary

SLO:

  • Students will understand the differences between primary and secondary sources.
  • Students will explore ways secondary sources manipulate primary sources.

Lesson Summary:

Librarians will explain what are primary and secondary sources and the various formats they appear such as peer reviewed articles, textbooks, and tweets. Then students will be given a primary source (interviews, video footage, photograph, tweets). Then working in pairs, the students will summarize the primary source, extracting its purpose and audience. Then students will be given a secondary source (article, press release, tweet) related to the primary sources. Working the same groups,  the students will compare the primary and secondary sources and have them identify how the original content has change, and the audience of the secondary source.

 

Statistics

SLO:

  • Students will learn how statistics are used to convey information.
  • Students will learn how to evaluate statistics for accuracy and reliability.

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will either be provided statistics or students will analyze stats for their own research through a series of questions. First they will analyze the purpose, type of information, and what the graph or statistics tells the viewer. Then they will analyze the study the statistics is based from by looking at the purpose of the study, who administered it, when, and who was the participants. Then the student will be given an article the stats was cited in, find one themselves or find another study about the similar topics and analyze the different messages between the article and the study or compare two studies.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

 

 

Information Cycle

SLO:

  • Students will learn to choose and analyze different types of sources about the same topic and their relation.
  • Students will understand how much information can be transmitted in a tweet.
  • Students will learn the difference between the format of informal information such as a blog and the format of more formal information such as a scholarly journal article.
  • Students will construct a research question from gathering different types of information on a topic.

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will first go over what the information cycle using the Boston bombing as an example and referring to the Information Cycle page . The librarian will lead a discussion on how the information builds and relates to each other, asking students questions to critically analyze connections. Then students will pair up and will be given different social media tweets, the pairs have to build their own information cycle using the given tweet or newspaper article. After students have completed their information cycle example, they will come up with possible research questions related to the topic.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

Comparing information & evaluating different types of sources

SLO:

  • Students will interpret and compare information to gain a general sense of the range of belief on a topic
  • Students will evaluate information offered by different authors on a topic
  • Students will explain how information sources differ from one another
  • Students will compare sources to select the most appropriate information for their topic

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will provide students with speeches that present different sides of a controversial issue. Students will analyze each speech by answering questions about the opinions and facts presented and will discuss their findings. Students will then be broken up into groups and given either a newspaper, magazine, or scholarly journal article. They will explore their articles and fill out a checklist that compares the type of information provided in each article type. The class will then discuss the differences between and purpose of each article type and when each article type might be an appropriate source.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

 

Fake News

SLO:

  • Students will focus on how language is used in articles, compare the purposes of the articles, and hypothesize what information has been left out.
  • Students will learn how to identify key components to help them recognize fake news from facts.

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will be provide students excerpts from articles about climate change without knowing the original source or publication. Students will have time to read the passage with a partner and rate each passage according to the fake news scale. Then as a class, they will discuss the language of each passage and decide if it’s fake news or not. The librarian will show the students the original source and discuss how to look for certain factors that help distinguish fake news from fact based publications.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

 

Evaluating Pictures

SLO:

  • Students will learn to apply evaluation criteria to pictures.
  • Students will learn to consider what information has been left out of the picture.

Lesson Summary:

Librarian will either provide a few images or the student will use images of their own. The student will ask themselves a series of questions to understand the image such as audience,  the context, purpose of image, tone, emotion, and impression. This will help students learn how to critically analyze images for their research needs.

Source: Burkhardt, J. M. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association

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