Monday, January 21, 2013

The CRAAP Test Worksheet

We are constantly surrounded by information, which means it's getting more and more difficult to know which sources we can trust. Being able to evaluate the credibility of any given piece of information requires sifting through a lot of CRAAP, thus when evaluating the credibility of a source of information, this handy CRAAP Test works like a charm (worksheet below).

TIPS for Using CRAAP


Just as with your technological devices (make sure they're plugged in and charged), there is a basic order of operations with evaluating information. First thing's first, check the date. If it was published a couple of years ago, check online for updates or news related to that item. Search out the author and find out if they have published anything new on the subject. 


If you're relying on information to make an informed judgment either at work or in your personal life, it is imperative that you consider whether or not the information responds to your needs. If the information is simply superfluous, don't waste your valuable time. 


Certain images and wording can distort the representation of information. Do your research. In today's world, we're only a few creative clicks away from knowing what grades someone earned in University, what they ordered in the Cafeteria, and who their Facebook friends are... given the fly-by-night online universities trying to cash in on the "dropout epidemic," don't forget to check out whether or not a researcher's higher learning institution - where they received their degree in Underwater Basket Weaving - is accredited. 


It is very easy to misrepresent information to support personal agendas (such as those associated with getting rich, quick). Don't just skim over references and the bibliography, make certain that the so-called sources are also credible ones. 


Is the author trying to persuade you to purchase something, believe or behave in a certain way, or support a certain cause or organization... or was the information submitted to a university as a final thesis? If the author had something at stake (reputation, degree award, prize, educational advocacy, philanthropic reasons) there is a higher probability that the information represents the author's best understanding of a subject. 

(Click on form to enlarge) 

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