You Can't Fight Fake News with More CRAAP


Information evaluation is often taught to beginning researchers as a collection of heuristics, simple binaries such as library vs. web, and easily-remembered acronyms. Doing so saves precious time in one-shot instruction and is easy for students to remember, but these simplistic "rules" and techniques leave students incapable of dealing with the flood of contradictory news, alternative facts, hot takes, and Tweetstorms coming at them every day. Information evaluation needs to draw on the concepts of critical information literacy in order to empower students to see through misinformation and systematic biases in order understand their world and make political change. However, critical information literacy is not intuitive for many students because it requires seeing hidden power imbalances, understanding media creator incentives, and questioning accepted narratives. Instructional scaffolding can help get around this problem. Scaffolding involves a more-experienced person guiding students, using personal assistance or learning materials, through completing tasks they would not be able to do on their own. With scaffolding, librarians can empower students to evaluate using critical information literacy until they develop their own proficiency. The presenters do this through a guided activity that takes students through an information evaluation exercise. This workshop will help attendees use critical information literacy to provide scaffolding, through the use of course materials, in-class activities, and discussion, for beginning researches as they evaluate information. The presenters share their experiences using scaffolding in critical information literacy instruction, and then, as a group, attendees will work together to design scaffolding for their instruction contexts.

Publication Title

Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium

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