Critical Thinking The ability to distinguish fact from fiction, to notice opinion, and to think about whether to accept those facts or agree with those opinions.
A librarian’s role is to help people learn the basics of evaluating information resources and tools.
Basically, active learning simply involves having learners do something, write something, say something, play games, get up, move around, interact, and take part in learning something, in addition to thinking about their own learning.
Active learning techniques for teaching individuals how to think critically about information resources such as an online periodical database may be based on individual and collective information needs.
A specific technique would involve assisting an individual compose a list of questions on a particular topic of interest that must be answered using only the resources available on a specific online periodical database. The goal of this technique is to learn how to search a particular database for specific information based on the individual’s information need.
Distinguishing online periodical databases from one another
Once information has been gathered, learners should compose a bibliography of resources for their own reference. Also, learners should be able to reflect on the various databases that were utilized and ignored based on their fruitfulness of information or lack thereof.
The success of this exercise depends on the individual or group having a personal interest in a specific topic. The gathered information should be analyzed for consistency and veracity. The idea of reviewing and revising the original questions should be explored.
Source: Grassian, E. S. & Kaplowitz, J.R. Information literacy instruction: theory and practice . Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York (2001).