Analyzing Sources for Credibility and Bias: The C.R.R.A.A.P. Test

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SWBAT identify the relevance and credibility of research sources by utilizing the C.R.R.A.A.P. test when doing research for their persuasive speech topics.

Big Idea

How do you know a source is good? Put it up against the C.R.R.A.A.P. test and find out!

Overview of Class Structure/Transition to the Computer Lab

10 minutes

As a continuation of our research process, I will be taking my students to the computer lab to work with our teacher-librarian today. As there are only 35 computers in the lab and 60 students in the class, my teaching partner and I will divide the class into two single periods and teach our content separately. This will be the case for the next few days so I can give my students time to research their speech topics.

My teaching partner will allow the students their typical ten minutes of reading time so I will have enough time to transition to the lab from the classroom.

Before we leave, I will make an announcement to the whole class reminding them to make sure their Othello literary analysis papers are turned in on time. I will remind them of this in their halves as well, but figured it is good to tell them multiple times throughout the day. Once that is done, I will walk half of the class to the library computer lab.


Introduction to the C.R.R.A.A.P. Test/Website Evaluation

20 minutes

Once we get to the lab, I will assist Ms. Poinier, our librarian, as she introduces the students to the C.R.R.A.A.P. test, a resource evaluation tool that she revised based on the Portland State University and  the Minooka Community High School Library Program. This is a tool that she has found to be useful in guiding students towards better research tools/resources and is incredibly helpful for me to ensure that students are meeting standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8, which specifically asks students to gather evidence from assess sources for their usefulness as well as standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2, which asks students to evaluate the credibility of sources.

She will introduce the tool using a video produced by a library at the University of Portland. Once the students have viewed the video, she and I will co-direct a dialogue about what the students heard. We will define each letter in the acronym together and ask students to take notes on the sheet provided.

  • C=Currency
  • R=Reliability
  • R=Relevance
  • A=Authority
  • A=Appropriateness
  • P=Purpose

You'll notice that we added a few steps to the process. Based on our work with the students using this tool last year, we discovered that they were not paying attention to the relevance or appropriateness (i.e. accessibility and readability) of the sources they were citing in their research, so we thought it important to add these considerations to their process. 

Practice Using the C.R.R.A.A.P. Test

15 minutes

Once we've reviewed the acronym and talked about the reasons it is useful, we will allow students to practice using two websites about violence in video games. As the students review each site using the C.R.R.A.A.P. tool, we will circulate the room to push thinking or ask questions.

Students will not actually do any research of their own today. We want to make sure that they know the process and importance of analyzing sources for each of the qualities listed in the C.R.R.A.A.P. test prior to researching on their own so that they will have better sources in the end. In addition, this will allow them an extra day to create/revise their inquiry questions. 

Ultimately, based on student struggles Ms. Poinier and I have seen in the past, we are taking time today to make sure that students know the importance of evaluating sources and choosing the best sources/information for their speeches. This is a great way to review the concept of ethos and we will remind them that using better sources will add to their credibility as a speaker. 

P.S. All of these resources will be available later to students on the library webpage, which is just an added bonus of working with my great teacher-librarian. =)

Wrap up and Next Steps

10 minutes

After the students have had some time for independent evaluation of each website, we will ask them to share out their findings/thoughts. We will specifically direct them to use the language of the C.R.R.A.A.P. test and point out how to use this tool when doing their own research.

Before we have them log out of and clean up, I will remind them once again about their Othello papers and ask them to work on revising their inquiry questions/topics as preperation for our next lab day on Monday.