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Information Literacy at Wartburg College

More about ILAC, the Information Literacy Across the Curriculum program at Wartburg

Evaluation: 3 Questions


At Wartburg, we've moved to using the 3 Evaluation Questions to frame how to assess the relevancy and credibility of a source. Students already answer these questions about every source they use--they just don't realize it. The questions are scalable, working for basic evaluation all the way through complex evaluation in the Capstones.

The 3 Questions

  • What is it: What is the source type and author credibility?
    • Quick Wikipedia checks are okay! You can also compare what other source say about that source.
  • Why do I care: Does the source type and author credibility meet your needs?
    • Decide this at the beginning so you know whether to read the material or find something better.
  • What does it really say: Perceive how the word choices influence the knowledge.
    • The author's word choices, included and excluded information, and the aim of the publication all make a difference in how or why you would use a source.

A note about Lateral Reading, CRAAP, SIFT, etc

Lateral Reading: The 3 questions also work perfectly with lateral reading: reading across sources to determine credibility and facts is how we answer "What is it?" You may see the phrase "lateral reading" pop up on information literacy content. If you teach lateral reading, simply be sure to incorporate the language of the 3 questions so that students have a common framework to reference.

Acronyms: Do you use an acronym such as CRAAP when evaluating sources? Great! We’ve chosen to move away from acronyms at Wartburg, as we feel the 3 questions can expand or contract to be as basic or advanced as needed. Contact your librarian to discuss how you can upgrade or nest your acronym into the 3 questions so that students have a common framework for reference.


Evaluation 3 Questions infographic

Evaluation infographic

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