Research court in session: actively learning information evaluation skills
Anna Fidgeon, California State University, Nort...
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Research court in session: actively learning information evaluation skills - Anna Fidgeon.

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LILAC 2014 Teachmeet Abstract

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Transcript of "Research court in session: actively learning information evaluation skills - Anna Fidgeon."

  1. 1. Research court in session: actively learning information evaluation skills Anna Fidgeon, California State University, Northridge, annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu Previously, my library instruction sessions focused mainly on academic and library-centered research. Most undergraduate students do not go on to careers in academia nor do they have access to a large range of academic library resources post-graduation. I brainstormed ways to teach students important critical thinking skills using a range of sources, and especially how information is created and by whom. I developed Research Court, a half-hour exercise in finding and evaluating sources. Students are divided into teams, and each team is given a different citation for a resource that is relevant to the course they are in, but usually includes a scholarly article, a popular article, a book, and a website (usually Wikipedia). Evaluation techniques are quickly discussed, using the CRAAP test as an example. Each group is then responsible for finding the full text of their resource and presenting an argument to their classmates on how this resource could be used in research, based on how it is created. Classmates who are not presenting are encouraged to ask presenters evaluative questions. This exercise not only strengthens students’ information evaluation skills, it helps them understand why different contexts demand different kinds of information. As educated citizens, these skills will be necessary their entire lives. Research Court is quick enough that it leaves enough time in a 75-minute library instruction session to also go over immediate research needs, such as using a library database. Doing the exercise also allows the instructor to get a sense of what the students do and don’t understand and instruct accordingly. After one semester of incorporating this activity into my instruction sessions, student evaluations have been positive. This Teachmeet will quickly introduce the Research Court lesson plan so that attendees may incorporate the lesson or parts of it into their own institution’s information literacy curriculum.

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