WikiInfoLit Unit 6 - Putting It All Together


To Sum Up

This is really more of a summary than a unit in itself. Sometimes it is helpful to give our students (and ourselves) a view of the forest mile view before, during, and after our close inspection of each of the trees.

So to review what we have covered, and for you to use as a graphical organizer with your own students, here is a flow chart mapping out the decisions that we should be making before relying on a Wikipedia article as an information source:

File:Wikiinfolit flow chart.pdf

But those four simple decisions expand into infinite complexity, just like Carl Sagan's saying, "If you want to make an apple pie, first you must create the universe."

  • Why and when do we cite? Why do we cite who we cite?
  • What is cognitive authority anyway, and what kind of meaning can it have in the networked age?
  • Is true neutrality possible or even desirable?
  • What kind of objectivity is achievable when you consider the power not only of human cognitive biases, but of individuals and organizations that suppress the truth and promote errors?

Evaluating information sources is one of the core competencies of Information Literacy, but it is so much more than filling out a checklist and knowing what we academics actually mean when we say "scholarly sources."

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