As college students taking a wide variety of classes, it can sometimes seem like information is being thrown at us as assignments build up. As a result, if I’m given an article to read for a class, I’m guilty of frequently finding myself reading it and taking the information as a useful or reliable source as if I’m on autopilot just trying to get an assignment done. I also have a tendency to do this outside of the classroom. For example, I remember seeing numerous news articles at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 when everybody in the world just wanted answers. As a result, I’d assume this was an especially vulnerable time for the spread of misinformation. Gaining skills to better evaluate the information given to me was one of my personal learning goals, so I found the topic for this week to be especially interesting and useful.
Mike Caulfield’s article, “It Can Take As Little As Thirty Seconds, Seriously”, was eye-opening as I didn’t realize how easy and quick it was to evaluate the credibility of a source. Through this, he argues that there’s no excuse for not doing this. He even offers a video explaining the steps he outlines. Although this is something I wish I had been more aware of earlier in my college career, I will undoubtedly still use it in the future. He also notes that this isn’t just a personal responsibility; doing your part in sharing authoritative sources benefits the good of society. I particularly enjoyed his metaphor that the process of evaluating information is like washing your hands to prevent the spread of misinformation. From these simple steps, I feel better equipped to evaluate the information I receive.