Bursting Google Filter Bubbles: Reshaping Search Results
University of Kansas
As a librarian, you posit that using only Google for information discovery and access is contrary to academic research. Although there is now a heightened awareness that biased search tools and methodologies contributes to the promulgation of fake news and alternative facts, researchers continue to rely upon Google as their only search tool. You might be befuddled as to why others are satisfied and not critical of their search results. If you have you ever been at a loss for persuasive instructional strategies for teaching the perils of algorithms, filter bubbles, and echo chambers, then this workshop is for you!
Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop/mobile device for hands-on internet searching exercises. Through small group exercises and discussion, you will observe the results of personalized searches. You will be challenged to use this evidence to critically reflect on how Google curates individualized search results and to analyze information gaps in Google results. Finally, using information literacy case studies, you will work with small teams to formulate instructional tactics in order to inspire researchers to use alternative information-seeking strategies to break their filter bubbles.
The ACRL Framework, particularly Information has value and Searching as Strategic Exploration, will inform our discussions. Through our discussions, participants will develop instructional strategies they can immediately apply to their work with researchers at varying levels of experience. Help burst the filter bubbles and reduce echo chambers!
There's Something Squirrelly Here: Revising a Library Assignment to Confront Fake News through Fact-Checking Fun
Eric Bradley, Abby Nafziger, & Matilda Yoder
In this interactive workshop, participants will have the chance to think through and revise their tired library assignments to better address current information concerns like fake news. Goshen College librarians will demonstrate the process used to revise a first year library assignment in which students evaluate and identify fake news. Participants will first take on the role of student and enter into the busy newsroom of The Maple Leaf Post to fact-check tweets by Schrock Squirrel (@SquirrellyPlaza), a resident rodent of Goshen College, in a short demonstration of the revised library assignment. The facilitators will then present the process, along with its hurdles and complications, to guide participants through this same process to revise their instructional dilemmas. Using an abbreviated consultancy protocol, participants will divide into groups and present their dilemmas. This will give participants a chance to receive feedback from their peers, talk through their own hurdles, then find creative solutions that create valuable library assignments with real-world applications. Participants should come prepared to share about a current assignment, lesson, or program issue that they are eager to revise or improve.
Hashtag and Emoji: Affirm and Transform Information Seeking Behavior
Grand Rapids Community College
The Library and Learning Commons at Michigan-based Grand Rapids Community College recently partnered with the English Department to redesign our approach to information literacy. In an era where the veracity of time honored news sources is in question and novelty news sources proliferate, it is important that library information literacy efforts equip students with the psychological confidence that they have the power to find authoritative information. A proactive way to build this confidence is to affirm student's existing research related strengths. Students are experts at interpreting internet search results, social media posts, and text messages. Their expertise is an asset that can serve them well in a library research environment. This interactive presentation will introduce two classroom techniques that affirm and leverage student's existing information seeking behavior. With participants acting as students, first we will consider the hashtag convention as an analogy for authority control using a visual data mash up. Second we will formulate a research question using emoji and in doing so illustrate the advantage of subject vs keyword search.
Session 2: 10:45-12:15
Information Wars: The Pedagogy of Conspiracy in the Critical Information Literacy Classroom
Robert Detmering & Anna Marie Johnson
University of Louisville
While conspiracy theories exist across the political spectrum and have been prevalent to varying degrees throughout the history of the United States, the election of Donald Trump has foregrounded the significant influence of conspiracy theorizing in American politics and perhaps legitimized the conspiracist mindset in some circles. Against a backdrop of "fake news" and "alternative facts," Trump has disseminated numerous conspiracy theories in speeches and on social media, including unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud and nefarious wiretapping plots. He has criticized mainstream journalism and expressed admiration for prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars.com. This interactive workshop will demonstrate how a media landscape suffused with the discourse of conspiracism presents not only a serious challenge for information literacy instruction but also an opportunity to engage students in productive dialogue around the contested nature of authority, the social construction of knowledge, and the role of critical inquiry in evaluating truth claims.
The workshop will begin with a brief exercise in which participants explore their own beliefs along what Uscinski and Parent (2014) call the "conspiracy dimension." The presenters will then share theoretical perspectives on conspiracism, emphasizing its seemingly contradictory association with both authoritarian populism and potentially progressive political dissent.Participants will examine particular conspiracy theory artifacts in small groups and develop their own class activities, based on relevant knowledge practices from the ACRL Framework. The presenters will explain how investigating conspiracy theories can help students think critically about the dissemination and reception of both mainstream and alternative media narratives.
News Literacy Beyond the Framework
Emilia R Marcyk
Michigan State University
News literacy focuses on the critical consumption of news, regardless of format. Librarians will recognize many similarities in purpose between the goals of news literacy and that of information literacy; understanding how authority is constructed, assessing the quality and completeness of the information, and learning how the creation process affects the final product, to name a few. While the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education is a useful tool for librarians looking to develop a news literacy curriculum, it is also helpful to look for input from a discipline that has been concerned with news literacy for some time: journalism. In this workshop, we will explore news literacy from a journalism perspective, and think about what aspects of journalistic teaching we can integrate into the information literacy classroom. While the presenter is neither a journalist, nor an expert in journalism, she has found that reading and listening to journalists has changed the way she thinks about news literacy; from just a subset of information literacy, to a fully-fledged set of knowledge practices. Workshop attendees with explore news literacy concepts together, and begin applying them to information literacy curriculum for non-journalism students. The workshop will also include the opportunity for participants to try out some of the strategies for themselves on a selection of news items.
Charting a Safe Course in a Sea of Chaos: Activities for Navigating a Turbulent Information Environment
Jane Hammons, Mary Todd Chesnut, & Lynn Warner
Northern Kentucky University
In this presentation, three experienced IL librarians will demonstrate a variety of framework-inspired activities to teach students evaluation strategies for combating fake, misleading, or biased news. Presenters will model pedagogical exercises that have proved successful in both face-to-face and online learning contexts. Participants will be invited to critically assess the value of these activities through discussion and polling. Learners will then engage in an exercise that encourages them to leverage the resources and ideas provided to develop an activity tailored to their own institution. Ideas generated in the session will be compiled and shared with the entire group; participants will leave with practical takeaways that will inspire their own teaching.
Session 3: 1:30-3:00
Unearthing Authority: Helping Students Develop Richer Understandings of Disciplinary Information
Clarence Maybee, Michael Flierl, & Rachel Fundator
Librarians are routinely asked to teach students how to identify credible and authoritative information. Yet, authority is constructed, contextual, and therefore not always amenable to discrete processes of identification and evaluation. At Purdue, we take an informed learning approach that highlights the inherent complexity and subjectivity involved in using information in various contexts. We collaborate with faculty to help students develop richer, more comprehensive understandings of their disciplinary learning environments. In response to the current sociopolitical climate, we can more explicitly target authority and credibility within our information literacy efforts. We can work with faculty to strategize ways to help students recognize the constructed, sometimes subjective nature of authority and help them engage in informed and purposeful ways in situations that feature various perspectives of authority, credibility, or truth.
In this interactive session, participants will consider ways to help students approach complex, information-rich situations in nuanced, purposeful, and discipline-driven ways. We will describe the information literacy work of Purdue librarians in a course redesign program and explain how an informed learning perspective supports disciplinary understandings of authority. Next, participants will engage in a role-playing activity. Acting as a consulting librarian or subject faculty member, participants will ask questions to uncover how experts evaluate information within their contexts before strategizing ways in which students will need to use information within those contexts to investigate the nuances of authority. Finally, participants will develop a learning activity that helps students more critically evaluate disciplinary information like an expert in the field.
You Can't Fight Fake News with More CRAAP: Complicating Information Evaluation Using Scaffolded Support
Carl Hess & Katlyn Griffin
Southeast Missouri State University
Information evaluation is often taught to beginning researchers as a collection of heuristics, simple binaries such as library vs. web, and easily-remembered acronyms. Doing so saves precious time in one-shot instruction and is easy for students to remember, but these simplistic "rules" and techniques leave students incapable of dealing with the flood of contradictory news, alternative facts, hot takes, and Tweetstorms coming at them every day. Information evaluation needs to draw on the concepts of critical information literacy in order to empower students to see through misinformation and systematic biases in order understand their world and make political change. However, critical information literacy is not intuitive for many students because it requires seeing hidden power imbalances, understanding media creator incentives, and questioning accepted narratives. Instructional scaffolding can help get around this problem. Scaffolding involves a more-experienced person guiding students, using personal assistance or learning materials, through completing tasks they would not be able to do on their own. With scaffolding, librarians can empower students to evaluate using critical information literacy until they develop their own proficiency. The presenters do this through a guided activity that takes students through an information evaluation exercise. This workshop will help attendees use critical information literacy to provide scaffolding, through the use of course materials, in-class activities, and discussion, for beginning researches as they evaluate information. The presenters share their experiences using scaffolding in critical information literacy instruction, and then, as a group, attendees will work together to design scaffolding for their instruction contexts.
I'm not an expert but...Teaching evaluation outside your students' comfort zone
Becky Canovan, Kate Kitchens, & Sarah Slaughter
University of Dubuque
Librarians are well practiced in the art of evaluating information. One might even call us experts. We regularly use shortcuts and ways of examining information that don't occur to others to help us identify authoritative voices and discern the probable from the improbable. But how do we help students who don't yet have a level of expertise with their discipline, or those researching in a new area? We need to meet students where they are, especially in general education classes. As librarians, we must provide evaluation strategies that don't rely on expert subject knowledge.
In this workshop, we will demonstrate approaches to evaluation we use in the core curriculum, at the University of Dubuque, a small private college, where students from diverse subject areas and levels of experience are often working with unfamiliar topics. These modules and activities were designed to be flexible, and can be applied in introductory courses for freshmen, or advanced courses within a student's major; as one-shots, or as part of a longer research unit. We will model and describe these different approaches to information evaluation, and attendees will pilot a new module, examining the circulation of information online and practice tracing ideas and data back to their sources. Time will also be dedicated to brainstorming how to adapt and apply modules to participants' needs. Attendees will leave with ideas for information evaluation activities that can be easily modified and applied to suit whatever time constraints, disciplines, teaching styles, and other circumstances they may be facing.