This guest post is written by Shana Chartier, Research and Instruction Librarian.
Last year the instruction librarians were hard at work trying to create a tool that could help students learn how to navigate the world of information in a hands on, self-directed way. Numerous studies show that the best learning happens when students actually get to perform the task rather than be lectured about it, so we wanted to create something that allowed for that while also being flexible enough for students to complete it when convenient for them.
Cue TruthQuest! This guide is an interactive information literacy session, where students can experience the research process and then come out on the other end with practical, useful resources they can use for the duration of their career here at SNHU. This session explores how we access information-from memes on social media to asking our parents, then heading out onto the web (ahem, Google) to find out more. There are so many perspectives-what voices are the loudest, and who is being left out of the narrative? You learn about the filter bubble of information you live in without even knowing it and how to evaluate a resource based on certain criteria. In the age of Fake News, it’s more important than ever to be critical of where information comes from and how it’s being used. TruthQuest! endeavors to help students build upon this skill before diving into the databases themselves.
After exploring the world of the interwebs, students get a chance to do research on their own topic to find library resources. Databases such as Statista (just like the name-it gives you practical data and great visuals for presentations!), Alexander Street Press (did you know videos count as scholarly sources? They do!) and CQ Researcher (a great database to get both sides of controversial issues) are explored.
After receiving some great feedback, TruthQuest! will be looking a bit different before the fall semester arrives. The original premise was to make this tool more game like in nature, so you’ll see some aspects of that coming through, and one of the old resource evaluation tools, the CRAAP test, will be replaced with a more updated way to ensure that the information you’re finding is legit.
TruthQuest! is listed on our Research Guides page and is open to anyone. Do you want to brush up on your library skills? Go ahead and give it a try! If you have feedback, we’re always happy to make improvements, so let us know by filling out the survey at the end.
Happy searching, Penmen!