Literacy 7-12

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Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources


Teaching students how to systematically evaluate sources prepares them to navigate in an increasingly complex, digital world. It is important to help students understand why they need to evaluate the trustworthiness of a source, equip them with strategies to do so, and give them ample opportunities to practice these essential information and Critical Literacy skills.

  • To instill the practices for evaluating sources effectively, teachers need to explicitly teach these skills and integrate them into their everyday curricula. Some ways they can do that include:
    • Introducing concepts like "relevance, accuracy, bias, and reliability" and using these terms regularly as a part of classroom discourse can help students get used to questioning sources and the motivations authors may have.
    • Modeling how to evaluate online information by showing the steps one would take to identify bias and determine if a source is reliable can show what this process entails. Encouraging students to practice these think-alouds allows them to remember the steps in their Long-term Memory.
    • Working with the students to create reliability checklists that they can regularly use for evaluating sources allows them to self-monitor their use of the strategies, fostering Metacognition.
    • Teaching students web-based reading strategies specifically for evaluating sources such as lateral reading also improves their Reading Fluency along with Critical Literacy.
    • Helping students see how the criteria for evaluating sources looks different in different disciplines like history or science builds their Disciplinary Literacy.
  • Developers can create experiences where students are guided to explicitly evaluate and rate the sources they read and/or cite. They can also have students practice evaluating sources in a gamified challenge.

Use It in the Classroom

Design It into Your Product

Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

Learn how Factitious turns evaluating sources uses a game-like format to teach students why a source could be considered reliable.