Evaluating the Interwebz with Think/ Square/ Share

Submitted by Cristy Moran on March 3rd, 2016
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Short Description: 

This activity asks students to work in groups to evaluate Internet sources to meet a research need. Students will use their available wireless devices, smartphones, tablets, computers, or laptops to retrieve the URLs provided to them. Working together, students will ask evaluation questions, guided by a CRAAP handout (attached) or instructor. Then, groups will share their findings with the class. o Students are grouped (3-4 students per group, number of groups in total is irrelevant what it important is the size of the group remains very small). o Each group is handed a scenario card – a 3x5 index card with a URL, beneath the URL is a topic/ question for research. Each student should also receive an Internet evaluation handout with the CRAAP criteria for evaluation on it. (These cards will be created by the instructor. They are recommended to be realistic, likely research questions/ topics for their course and the URLs should be likely search results. Results should vary between acceptable, recommended sources and not recommended sources.) o Students should be given a short time to review - 3-5 mins. Instructor should stress how quickly students can move through a website to capture information such as publication dates and check source links. o At the end of the review period, each group will have a spokesperson make their case to which the class can engage with questions as to the criteria. This activity can be repeated multiple times. It is highly adaptable and reusable.

CRAAP Evaluation of Web Sources Infographic HandoutDownloaded 1538 times668.5 KB
Example for Scenario Cards - Search on Juvenile Justice TopicsDownloaded 1853 times251.42 KB
Learning Outcomes: 

o Students will analyze sources for currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and purpose. o Students will determine whether a source meets their information need.

Individual or Group:

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This activity is a 5-10 minute activity delivered after a tour of library resources, when students are taught about evaluating Internet sources and given tips on how to effectively manage Internet research. This activity has also been implemented with professional faculty acting as students when modeled for faculty professional development workshops.

Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.): 

The attached handout is an infographic for the CRAAP evaluation strategies and can be printed out and used in tandem with Internet evaluation skills instruction or provided to students to guide them through this activity.

Suggested Citation: 
Moran, Cristy. "Evaluating the Interwebz with Think/ Square/ Share." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2016.