Such is the technological world we live in. A world filled with devices designed to connect us with others (which for the most part works well) and with information (which, though it might not seem like it, can be a challenge.)
When I was in college, the difficulty with writing research papers was in locating information. You would browse through encyclopedias, search the stacks for relevant books, cull the green Readers Guide to Periodical Literature to locate magazine and newspaper articles which could be either in the archives still in print form or already transferred to microfilm or microfiche. And, finally, you would call your local library’s research librarian (shout out to my cousin Linda) to locate the even more obscure information.
Not so in today’s world. Today it is not about finding enough information; it is all about sifting through the ether world’s never-ending supply to find reliable information. Artificial Intelligence is only adding another layer of difficulty.
Which is why, during my last couple of decades of teaching, we would teach our students the CRAAP test: a series of questions used by colleges to vet your information source.
Here it is.
C—currency (The source is out of date or too old or doesn’t reflect the latest advances or ideas.)
R—relevance (The source is unrelated to your topic or only has a small amount of information about your topic.)
A—authority (The author is unknown or not an expert or the author is known but not an expert on the topic.)
A— accuracy (The facts seem incorrect or are not supported by other sources or citations, or the facts seem correct but are not cited.)
P—purpose (The source is intended to sell something or is biased.)
Each article and site needed to be weighed through these five areas, and only if the scales tipped heavily toward credibility should the source be used.
To be continued next week . . . Sorry there is no conclusion here, but the blog would be WAY TOO LONG. I hope you join me next week.