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First Year Seminars - Information Literacy Resources: Evaluate

A Recent Study Finds...

Assignment Description:  Students locate an announcement of study findings in a newspaper, magazine, or newswire and then locate the full text of the published study.  Students compare and contrast the findings as represented in each article. Ask students to answer specific questions about the study that cannot be answered without the original.

Result: Students learn to differentiate between an announcement of a study and original study.  They learn to recognize the value of primary source material.

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

A Trip to the Archives

Assignment Description: Using Fox Hunt and the Marist College Archives and Special Collections website, students find an item related to a topic or theme. Students access a finding aid and choose an item.  They visit the Archives and Special Collections to view the item.  Students evaluate its relevancy to their topic or theme.

Result: This assignment introduces students to the role and purpose of archives and special collections, using a finding aid and allows students to work with unique primary source materials.

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

Annotated Bibliography

Assignment Description:   Students prepare an annotated bibliography on a research topic.  Set a minimum number of sources to be included in the annotated bibliography and identify the different types of sources that should be included such as primary and secondary sources or scholarly journal articles and books.  In each annotation, ask students to evaluate the author, publisher and address any bias in the work.   

Result:  Students practice using library databases, learn about different source types, learn to organize and cite sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"


Assignment Description: Ask students to evaluate a source on a research topic using the CAARP method.  By analyzing the currency, accuracy, authority, relevance and purpose students assess whether or not the source is valuable to their research.

Result: Students gain a rubric for critically evaluating sources.

Outcomes Met: "Evaluate"

Database Investigation

Assignment Description: Using the databases on your course guide or on a subject guide, assign a database to a group.  Ask them to evaluate the search interface, content, publisher, subject areas, and account features. Students do a short presentation on their findings.

Result: Students gain in depth knowledge of library databases and when to utilize them.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate," and "Obtain"

Ever Changing Information

Assignment Description:  Students research and locate sources representing each component of the information cycle pertaining to a particular event.  They analyze how the information about or relating to an event changes over time.  For example, students find a newspaper article, popular magazine article, scholarly journal article, scholarly book and reference book on Hurricane Katrina.

 Result: Students gain experience with library databases and see how information evolves over time and varies between source types.  Students are introduced to the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

 Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Exploring Search Options

Assignment Description: Ask students to search using the same keyword in Fox Hunt and a subject specific database.  How do the search results differ? Why?  Compare the search option in the two databases, why are the different and what advantage to each offer?  

Result: Students learn about the different databases available and the advantages of moving beyond Fox Hunt when researching.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Google vs. Library

Assignment Description: Select a topic related to the course topic or of the student’s choice. Ask students to find information on the topic using first Google and then Marist’s subscription databases or FoxHunt. Ask students to compare the results of the two searches. Which is easier to use to find scholarly articles? To find current news? Are limiting mechanisms available for specific subjects or publication dates?

Result: Students gain first hand experience with database searches and options.  They also learn what types of search interfaces are appropriate for academic research.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Is it True?

Assignment Description:  Give students a news headline and ask them to verify if the news is true.  First have them locate the news story on the internet.  Have them examine the appearance of the website, URL, etc.,.  The resources below can guide them through this process and give them an idea of what to examine.  As a final test, have them search for the news headline in Fox Hunt on the library website.

Result: Students learn about the importance of critically evaluating information and legitimate sources of news and information. 

Outcomes Met: "Evaluate" and "Obtain" 

Locating Primary Sources

Assignment Description: Ask students locate primary sources on an event or topic in history.  Students use library databases and print indexes to locate newspaper and magazine articles on a topic.    

Result: Students learn about the challenges and advantages of locating primary source materials. 

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain" 

Popular and Scholarly

Assignment Description:  Students compare a popular magazine article and scholarly journal article on a topic or event. Students explain the purpose and argument of each article.

Result: Students learn that articles differ in the information and evidence provided and the value each type of article has to college level research.

Outcomes Met:  "Evaluate" 

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary

Assignment Description: Students are given several sources to evaluate on a given topic or event.  They must determine if the sources are primary, secondary or tertiary.  How would they use these types of sources in a research paper?  

Result: Students learn to identify primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Evaluate"

Pro Con Resources

Assignment Description:  Students research differing views on an issue using the databases Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher.  Students then identify the main arguments of each side and provide evidence to support their conclusions.

Result: Students gain experience with library databases and determine the point of view of sources.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Test your Fake News Knowledge

Assignment Description: Have students test their evaluation skills with an online quiz on fake news.  These quizzes have images of the news as well as the source for the information.

Result: Students learn to observe details about information sources and learn about sites that generate fake news.  They also learn the importance of source evaluation.

Outcomes Met: "Evaluate"

Wikipedia vs. Traditional Encyclopedias

Assignment Description: Select a topic related to the course topic or of the student’s choice. Ask students to find background information on the topic using first Wikipedia and an encyclopedia from the Marist Library  (Britannica Academic, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Print Encyclopedias). Ask students to compare the two sources’ content and credibility. Who were the authors? What are their credentials? Are there any useful additional features?

Result: Students learn the importance of background information when beginning research and apply evaluation skills to reference sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"