Round Table Discussion: The Great CRAAP Debate

Since starting at George Mason University, my department regularly holds a  Round Table group. One of my colleagues began it shortly before I arrived. Someone in the department selects a couple of articles, book chapters, etc., around a theme; we read the articles; and then meet to talk about them. It’s not a particularity novel idea, but it has been instrumental in professional development in my department. Since my research often focuses on communities of practice, I’ve found it as an effective way to develop library instructors who are not in professional positions, who have limited teaching experience, or who do not have an MLS – our legitimate peripheral participants in the profession. As applicable, we’ll follow up these round tables with a workshop where we work on instructional ideas related to the readings.

As the spring instructional load wanes, we’ll be meeting for the first time since August to discuss a new set of readings. I chose the topic for next week (April 19th). We’ll be reading about teaching source evaluation to undergraduates. My (personal) goal as instruction coordinator is to begin pushing our library instructors beyond teaching to the CRAAP Test or other checklist-like device. We are reading the following articles:

Caulfield, M. (2016, December 19). Yes, digital literacy. But which one? Retrieved from

Caulfield, M. (2017, April 4). How “news literacy” gets web misinformation wrong. Retrieved from

Radcliff, S., & Wong, E. Y. (2015). Evaluation of sources: A new sustainable approach. Reference Services Review, 43, 231–250.

Seeber, K. (2017, March 18). Wiretaps and CRAAP. Retrieved from

Do you teach students how to evaluate sources without using a checklist approach? If so, how? Have any readings you’d suggest for future reading? Let me know!