Fake Facts

Smh. Homeschool FB group screenshot. January 17, 2018

Smh. Homeschool FB group screenshot. January 17, 2018


Being the Doctor of Education that I am, when I saw this post on a homeschool FB group, I just had to respond and correct the mistaken belief. Needless to say, I was summarily dismissed. 1) Pet beliefs regarding instructional strategies must be subject to the overall educational goals and objectives from the top down. This type of content matching activity doesn’t guarantee alignment to needed life skills and academic goals. It merely reinforces the ability to play the game, Concentration. 2) Matching content between sources isn’t a standard method for establishing academic scholarship, which should be the goal. What it does is set up students to match one poor source with another poor source of aggregated content. 3) Establishing credibility isn’t about reputation and accuracy, it’s about truth reflected in authority and expertise. This is what allows for the discerning of truth through analysis of facts.

My Posted Reply

We generally want our sources of information to be reliable, trustworthy and accurate with the end goal of finding believable truth as opposed to mere content matching. There are many websites that collect articles from other sources without regard to legitimacy. If you find a few of those “aggregator” websites, then of course their content will match and they’ll be accurate to each other. Instead, look holistically at several indicators for credibility. This is a good general life skill. Any of the websites below will provide guidance; however, no one source will have the complete answer–which is why I offer a full assortment of credible sources on credibility. These sources are primarily from colleges which is another end goal because we’re training our kids also in the academic skills they will need for college success, one of which is writing the research paper, a specific skill set in academic life.

Education organization, faculty and support guidance
Weida, S. and Stolley, K. (2013). Using Research and Evidence. Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue University. [2013-03-11 12:10:43].
Columbia University. (2018). Evaluating the Credibility of Your Sources.
Illinois Valley Community College Writing Center. (2017). Choosing Credible Sources. Stylebook. Illinois Valley Community College. [May 2, 2017.]
Montecino, V. (1998). Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources. Education and Technology Resources. George Mason University.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay. (2017). How can I tell if a website is credible? [2017-02-09 08:40 CST].
University of Maryland University College. (2018). Is My Source Credible?
Rusten, I. (2013). What Is A Credible Source? The Beekman School.
University of California Santa Cruz University Library. (n.d.). Start Your Research: Evaluate Your Info. University of California Santa Cruz.
North Carolina State University Libraries. (2015). Evaluating Sources for Credibility. [tutorial].
Coates, S. (2011). Finding Credible Sources. University of Oklahoma’s School of Library and Information┬áStudies. [LIS 5503: Information Literacy and Instruction class project, Spring 2011].
EasyBib, a Chegg service. (2017). C. Evaluating Sources.

Medical organization guidance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Deciding Whether a Source is Reliable.
National Library of Medicine. (2012). Source Credibility. [26 November 2012].

Reference source guidance
IAC Publishing, LLC. (2018). What is the definition of a reliable source?

General Internet source guidance
Mertes, Z. and Schmidt, D. (2015). About
Fleming, G. (2017). Internet Research Tips: Finding Reliable Online Sources. [June 17, 2017].

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