This lesson plan provides a way to help students learn how to identify and assess sources of information. It could be useful in various classes and at various levels.
Type of Material:
This lesson should be used as an introduction to reliable sources in all content-area classrooms. It could easily be applied to the beginning of any research paper assignment and should be a helpful review for students in introductory college writing courses.
High-speed Internet access, PowerPoint, and a projector to show the PowerPoint
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will apply the CARRDSS (Credibility, Accuracy, Reliability, Relevance, Date, Source, and Scope) method to websites.
Using the CARRDSS method, students will accurately identify and evaluate credible and non-credible sources.
Target Student Population:
This material would be helpful to students in middle school or high school English or history. It may also be very helpful to first-year college students as they begin to write papers and cite sources.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students participating in this lesson will need to know how to search web pages and will also need to be familiar with the CARDDS method as explained in this lesson plan.
By providing a method for determining whether websites are reliable, the material addresses a definite need of developing research writers. The assignment accurately depicts reality, since assessing the credibility of sources is something students will need to do throughout life.
The lesson plan mentions several items that are not included in the plan. Specifically, the PowerPoint mentioned a number of times is not included.
The lesson plan assumes that the instructor is intimately familiar with the CARRDSS method of determining reliability. A more thorough description should be included.
The lesson plan says students will be given a list of websites to evaluate, but neither a list of sites nor a set of criteria for selecting sites is given.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This lesson uses technology with which many students are extremely comfortable.
Even without an actual explanation of the CARRDSS method, a teacher could piece together a decent method of explaining this process by thinking about the words used in the acronym. Learning this method at the beginning of a research project will greatly improve the quality of students' research.
The additional inclusion of materials relevant to the method would vastly increase the potential effectiveness.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The lesson plan does not require many additional resources beyond web access.
The presented concepts are fairly straightforward.
A lesson based on this material will provide a hands-on approach and visual material from which students can easily learn.
An instructor will need to do quite a bit of work to make this a presentable lesson. The visual materials are not provided and will have to be created by the instructor.
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