Crap Detection, A 21st Century Literacy

One of the 21st Century Literacies Howard Rheingold talks about is Crap Detection. Though I think the need for critical thinking or analysis has been around a long time, it has become increasingly important as Alan Shapiro demonstrates in his article, The Essential Skill of Crap Detecting

So how do you teach or learn this essential skill? Two librarians at Dominican University have put together this CRAP test

The CRAP test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria: Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View. Below are some questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.

Currency

  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?

Reliability -

  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is is balanced?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?

Authority

  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials?
  • Who is the published or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
  • Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View -

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • Is it biased?
  • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Learn More

“Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection.” a paper delivered by Neil Postman at the 1969 National Council of Teachers of English annual conference

Crap Detection 101 from Howard Rheingold

Watch this video

4 Responses to “Crap Detection, A 21st Century Literacy”

  1. mrG Says:

    ok, just so I have this straight, you are saying that the material which scores most highly as CRAP is the stuff that you want to keep? :)

  2. Jodie Borgerding Says:

    I talk about the CRAP test in almost all of my library instruction sessions. The students, especially the freshmen, chuckle like Beavis and Butthead when they hear me talk about the CRAP test. At least I have their attention.

    • Bobbi Newman Says:

      I bet they remember it too!

  3. Tweets that mention Crap Detection, A 21st Century Literacy « Libraries and Transliteracy -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bobbi Newman, ITI Conferences. ITI Conferences said: Excellent post by @librarianbyday at Libraries & Transliteracy on CRAP detection. http://fb.me/wAvenYy6 [...]


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