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Information Literacy Objectives & Assessment

ILOs and Assessments for the Library, Fall 2020

Objective 4

Evaluate information and its sources critically


Lesson Objectives: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Identify qualities that help determine currency, relevance, accuracy, and purpose in a source.
  2. Defend source credibility using indicators of authority.
  3. Assess content critically and with an awareness of source and personal biases.

Source Evaluation! (SR code added)

These are the 5 Ws of source evaluation. Each W has a series of questions to ask so you can evaluate your source. This is a quick cheat sheet to help with that. Who: Who is the author? Are they experts in the subject? Can they be contacted? What: What is the purpose of the source? Is it fact or opinion based? Are the claims and conclusions supported? Where: Where did you find the information? Are citations included? Where does the research money come from? Why: Why would you use the source? Why is the source reliable? When: When was the information created or updated? Has new research been done? Does it matter to you if it’s current or not? Content created by Georgia Highlands College library, creative commons license C-BY-SA (2019)

Accuracy infographic (SR code added)


Source Evaluation for Accuracy To evaluate a source for accuracy, you should ask yourself questions like the following: Where does the information come from? Does the evidence provided support the facts / information? Can you verify the information? Does emotion make the argument seem "wild and crazy"? Does the source have poor spelling and grammar?

Authority infographic (SR code added)


To check a source for authority, ask yourself these questions: What are the author's credentials? Who is the author affiliated with? What are the author's qualifications? Is the website connected to a reputable agency or organization? Does the URL tell you anything about the source? Is there any contact information available? Does the website say who they are or why they exist?

Purpose infographic (SR code added)


To evaluate a source for Purpose, ask these questions: What is the purpose of the information? Are the author's intentions clear? Is the source presenting facts or trying to persuade with opinions? Is the point of view objective and impartial? Is there evident favoritism for one "side"?

Relevance (sr code added)

infographic for relevance

When evaluating a source for relevance, ask youself: Does the information relate to the topic? Who is the intended audience? Is the information written at an appropriate level? Have you looked at different sources? Would you (or your instructor) use the source in a paper?

Currency (SR code added)

infographic for currency

To evaluate a source for currency, ask When was it published? Has it been revised? Is the information current? Do the web links work?


Questions to ask for recognizing bias

  1. Does the writer use overly positive or overly negative language about the subject
  2. Does the writer use emotionally charged language about the subject
  3. Does the writer use vague or generalized language about the subject?
  4. Does the writer omit important facts?
  5. Does the writer add information and evidence that seems unnecessary just to bolster their point?
  6. Does the writer fail to site their sources?

(From Athens State University Library)

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