One of the paradoxes of serious academic research in the digital age is that as information becomes more readily and widely available, it becomes harder for untrained readers to find high-quality, trustworthy information, and to tell the difference between the good and bad. “The Internet” is not an undifferentiated mass of equally good information – you can read about a medical condition on Wikipedia or in the Lancet, but you wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who didn’t understand why one is a better source than the other.
What makes a source credible? What makes it scholarly? What’s the difference between citing an article in Sports Illustrated
and one in Sports medicine
? As some thoughtful teachers of undergraduates
are reporting, many students don’t come to college equipped with the ability to make these determinations.
A research team at the University of Michigan Institute of Museum and Library Studies has developed a new approach to teaching these skills: an online, social game called BiblioBouts.