Evaluating sources is not a skill students will be taught in one week or in one course - you're laying the foundation for deeper skills that will be honed in a student's specific discipline.
You're teaching students the skills they need to evaluate viewpoints no matter where they find them - i.e. from vetted sources and from Twitter.
You will need to revisit the teaching of these skills throughout the semester.
Evaluating sources is intuitive to you - that is not the case for early researchers.
Bias is a word that has been weaponized. When discussing bias with students, please avoid:
Oversimplifying bias by explaining in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation. Identity and life experience influence perspective and should be considered, but it undermines the speaker's credibility to disregard other factors. It also stymies deeper, richer analysis of what constitutes authority and perspective.
I avoid, come hell or high water, simplistic tests or mnemonic acronyms to use in evaluating info. You should, too. It doesn't allow for nuance and makes a complex process into a checklist.
This exercise is designed to get students thinking about author, audience and publication. You may use the fracking scenario below (and in the Powerpoint) or create your own.
Scenario: The Texas legislature is considering legislation to regulate fracking.
In class activity 2
In class activity 3, or take home activity: This worksheet, which can be assigned in two different formats, walks students through identifying bias in an article you assign, or as a component of their own research.
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