Published June 3, 2020 | Version v1
Poster Open

How to teach critical evaluation of references in higher education

  • 1. Oulu University Library


In information retrieval courses organized by the Oulu University Library the students learn i.a. to identify and evaluate the quality of a scientific publication with technically easy to use evaluation tools. Our aim is to improve the learning outcomes in source evaluation so that in addition to learning the external characteristics of quality in publications, the goal is to understand the process behind a scientific publication. The best results will be achieved with cooperation between the discipline and the teaching information specialists. We conducted a survey, where we investigated the students' conceptions of scientific publications before and after information retrieval courses. Most of the students mentioned reliability as characteristic of a scientific information source. Those who attended the course were able to mention a specific feature more often. We also consulted the faculty to find out what kind of evaluation skills they assume the students to learn during the information retrieval courses. Half of the respondents taught the evaluation of information sources in their own courses. Almost all teachers told they had perceived deficiencies in the evaluation skills of the students. They considered it important that students learn how to recognize and find scientific and reliable information sources in an early stage of their studies.


How to teach critical evaluation of references in higher education.pdf