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First Year Experience - Learning to Evaluate Information: Start

In this instructional session, students learn to use a rubric to evaluate information found on the Web and in databases.


At the end of the session, you should be able to:

  1. Understand and use a rubric for evaluating a resource 
  2. Determine if the resource is appropriate for the level of the assignment

This session addresses the following ACRL Information Literacy Standards:

The session can be led by any FYE instructor, or can also be led by a librarian. It can be completed within a 50-minute class session.

If you would like a librarian to lead this session, please contact Tracey Amey, Director, Madigan Library.

A rubric is a scoring tool with points awarded for different categories when you assess a resource or piece of work. It is explicit and has looks at specific criteria. Each criteria has levels of achievement, which are given numerical scores. After completing a rubric, a summary score for the work may be produced.

Many students enter college having successfully searched for things in Google for years. They know how to use it, and it gets them


results. But the truth is that knowing how to search Google and knowing how to use it as a research tool are two very different things. For example, because of the way Google returns results in one list, it's hard to discern that there are different types of resources in that list, including sites that want to sell you something, blog entries, PowerPoints from conferences, and even research articles.

For some assignments, you will be asked to do research and provide credible and often scholarly resources to support your project. You may choose to start with Google and you will likely find results. But how will you know if the information you've found is reliable? Is relevant to your project? Is written by an expert?

The Madigan Library Evaluating Works Cited Rubric will help you figure out what resources are credible and appropriate and what ones are not.