Information Analysis

Evaluating...

Evaluating…

When searching for useful, high quality information using academic databases, as opposed to Google, some information analysis is already done for you.  Firstly, most documents that appear are professionally published articles, and secondly, to guarantee high quality, most databases I used, such as ProQuest and A+ Education, allow the user to limit the search to peer-reviewed articles only.  Most databases also highlighted my search terms in the summary or abstract, so I could quickly get  an idea of relevance to my information need.  Google required a bit more effort, in terms of determining relevance, availability and quality, as the documents encompassed a much greater range, including blogs, slideshows and unreliable websites.  All documents found in my annotated bibliography are sources I judged to be relevant, useful and of high quality.

Analysis and evaluation of information is a crucial stage in the information seeking process, but there are many guides and models available to help with this task.  I chose to use the CRAP test (currency, reliability, authority, purpose), because it encompasses Kuhlthau, Maniotes and Caspari’s concepts for evaluating sources (expertise, accuracy, currency, perspective, quality) (2007, p.85), and it is easy and fun to remember, so I think it would work well with the high school students I teach.  Below, I will set out two  examples of using the CRAP test with some online sources I found during my search for inquiry learning in middle / high school Geography.

This Glogster was created by Dianne McKenzie and is used here with permission. Retrieved from http://libguides.tigs.nsw.edu.au/content.php?pid=234350&sid=1939059

1. GeogSpace

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2. Article: FitzGerald, The Twin Purposes of Guided Inquiry

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Table showing information analysis/evaluation using CRAP test:

CRAP test sample

References

Australian Geography Teachers Association (2013). GeogSpace. Retrieved from http://www.geogspace.edu.au/support-units/

Fitzgerald, L. (2011). The twin purposes of Guided Inquiry: Guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice. Scan, 30(1), 26-41.

The Illawarra Grammar School (2013, May 28). CRAP Test – Evaluating Information. Retrieved from http://libguides.tigs.nsw.edu.au/content.php?pid=234350&sid=1939059

Kuhlthau, C. C., Caspari, A. K., & Maniotes, L. K. (2007). Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

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