Done with CRAAP evaluation

A list serve email came through last week, and it verified I am not the only one who was sick and tired of the acronym CRAAP to teach students source evaluation.

I discovered it when I first became an Instruction Librarian, giggled, utilized it because who am I as a newbie to question what has been done by those with decades more experience than me?

A semester after using it I realized it wasn't reaching my student base in a real way, and that I fell into the trap of " It's always been done this way, so we will continue to do it this way".

I researched, I found RADAR (2013), Relevance, Authority, Date, Appearance and Reason, but then questioned how many students knew what radar was, let alone how it conceptually connected to evaluation. Will they remember what reason is once they remember the acronym? 

So out the window it went.

Post it thought process of RADAR to CRAAP to DRAMA

The process of finding an acronym took some mental power, and this remaining post-it just shows some of the struggle.

DRAMA, Date, Relevance, Accuracy, Motivation, Authority

DRAMA stands for Date, Relevance, Accuracy, Motivation and then Authority. I have so far found that students understand how to connect these terms to sources without much prodding, and the idea of drama being associated with their sources rings all too true. 

The Motivation piece I think is the clincher for most students who stand befuddled when trying to figure out the rationale (RADAR) behind a site, or the purpose (CRAAP). With our students on our campus self-identifying that source evaluation is one of their top three academic stresses, they understand the drama that exists around sources. This new approach on an old idea that is obviously still very relevant with the new framework. When combined with a low stakes outside activity, students end up comprehending how to start approaching sources in a much more open minded yet critical viewpoint.

With a few exceptions, most of my sessions are one shots. We know the difficulty of even beginning to broach a topic as broad as this, all the while attempting to do more than being a talking head. My approach is to be a talking head only briefly to outline the basics of DRAMA and then pair it with a basic Kahoot quiz asking students to determine if a page was a "good" source for the context given. I give students a link to these pages beforehand, let them think about DRAMA that we just talked about and then let them go at the quiz together, debating among themselves about a sources fit to the context give. Page by page, as the scores are finalized, we have another conversation about it. It's a process that feels more organic on my end, and really gets the students talking, if not DEMANDING to know about it. This approach has changed the dynamic completely when talking about evaluation, and all for the better. I have utilized this method on a rage of students, from Community College level to University level courses and the responses are the same, thoughtful conversation and debate on the legitimacy of source choice, with students having "lightbulb" moments throughout.

If you are curious about my Kahoot, I have included the preview link below. You will have free access to view if you are a Kahoot user, and if not you are able to sign up for free to access it and play through.