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EDEC 262 • Foundations in Literacy K-9: Library Instruction • Research

Library resources, information, and instruction for EDEC 262 with Professor McDaniel
Library Instruction Banner Image with text

Session Resources • 1,2,3

Stop • Investigate • Find • Trace Claims

Sift (verb): "to examine something carefully in order to decide what is important or useful or to find something important." - Oxford Learner's Dictionary

SIFT Method, or The 4 Moves, was developed by Mike Caulfield to "help students get better at sorting the truth from fiction and everything in-between" (Caufield, 2019). Beginning with Stop - and continuing through the remaining steps from left to right, each move defines criteria to apply to a website for evaluation.

The Four Moves

Stop •


Investigate •


Find •


Trace Claims •

What do you know about the site?

What is the site's reputation?

How are you going to use the information?

Why is the information being shared?


Do you know what you are reading?

Where does the media or information originate?

Can you verify the site or it's information?

Does the URL provide any details?


Can you find better coverage somewhere else?

Is there someone else making the same or a similar claim?

Review multiple sources, is there a consensus?

Can you find experts in the field?


Can you locate the information origin?

Are you seeing everything about the topic?

Has the information been edited or modified?

Compare the original source to your source.

Evaluating Websites

Apply SIFT, The Four Moves, to evaluate the website assigned to your group. A whiteboard is available for brainstorming your process and a worksheet is provided. Once each group has finished their evaluation, conclusions will be shared with the class.

SIFT Method (The 4 Moves) Worksheet

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House Hippo Foundation
Ninja Burger
Group 1
Group 2

What is a Database?

Databases are often described as an organized collection of resources, such as scholarly journals, periodicals, peer-reviewed articles, newspapers, eBooks, or media, available to users online.

  • Some databases, such as ERIC, PubMed, and EBSCO Essentials, are free to the public and include elements of open access.
  • Other databases, such as Academic Search Complete or Education Full Text, are proprietary resources owned by a company or publisher that are licensed for use.

Archer Library and OhioLINK have purchased access to a large collection of research databases, making them available to AU students, faculty, and staff. These databases are proprietary resources requiring users to authenticate - or login - from off campus locations.

Databases are a powerful search tool providing students the ability to find credible information.

Archer Library Databases

A TO Z Database page screen grab

Archer Library provides access to 216 - yes, 216 - databases and eBook collections, from a variety of vendors and providers including EBSCOhost, Gale, OhioLINK, and ProQuest.

On campus access to these resources is immediate.  Off-campus use requires authentication in the form of your AU username and password. These are the same credentials used to login to Blackboard or AU email.

Access the A-Z Database List.

Database Searching • Introduction

Today we will be exploring Academic Search Complete for information on the topic teaching writing.  While conducting the database search, we will:

  • Structure an initial keyword search;
  • Utilize boolean search options;
  • Apply database limiters to identify year;
  • Refine results to source type;
  • Identify different article formats;
  • Discover database tool menus (e.g. cite); and
  • Review full text options.
Getting Started • Assignment Research

Use Academic Search Complete to conduct an initial keyword search on your assignment topic. Consider what terms to use and how best to refine the search to locate an appropriate resource.

Relevance • Authority • Date • Appearance • Reason for Writing

Finding information on a topic for your assignment is the first step when conducting research. It is equally important to evaluate what you have found and determine if it is appropriate for your purpose.

There are a variety of frameworks available to assist with evaluating information, offering guidance for critically reviewing a resource. Today we used SIFT to evaluate websites. The evaluating information tab on this library guide introduces the CRAAP test. This activity focuses on the RADAR method.

RADAR Method

Relevance •

How is this resource relevant to your research assignment?
What does it offer that makes it relevant?

Authority •

Who is the author/s? Is it a person, group, or organization?
What credentials do they have making them an authority on the topic?
Does information about site or author authority factor in to your decision of information accuracy?
Does the resource provide additional evidence or links to other research?

Date •

When was the information published?
Are there more timely resources available?
Does the publication date matter to your research?

Appearance •

Does the appearance of the information provide clues to its relevance?
Does the article/post/site contain things such as advertisements, pictures, or charts?
Does the information contain citations or references?
Does the URL reveal anything about the site, author, or source?
Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Reason for Writing •

Why did the author/site publish this information?
What purpose does it serve?
Is the item balanced or well-researched?
Does it add to the existing body of knowledge on the topic?
Was the item written as satire or propaganda?
Is it biased? Are these limitations clearly identified?

Group Activity • Evaluating Information

Each group will conduct a keyword search for an assignment topic using the information source assigned; OneSearch or Education Full Text. Applying the best practices discussed (e.g. limiters and publication dates), select a resource to review.

Group 1
Group 2
OneSearch Education Full Text

Apply the discussed criteria of Relevance, Authority, Date, Appearance, and Reason for writing to your selection. Determine, as a group, (1) if the item selected is a reliable information resource, (2) if you would use it for your assignment, and (3) reasoning for your decision. Be prepared to share evaluation conclusions.

Session Basics


Welcome to the Bernice Faber Baker Active Learning Lab, Archer Library's instruction classroom, located on the library main floor.

Students are encouraged to use their own laptops or mobile devices for this session. Library iPads are available as needed.

Session Overview

Library instruction will focus on three concepts: evaluating information, conducting and managing a database search, and critically evaluating research results.

This session will include group work activities, experiential learning, and direct instruction.

Getting Started • 1,2,3

1. Sift Method: Estimated Time 15 Minutes

2. Database Intro: Estimated Time 10 Minutes

3. RADAR Method: Estimated Time 10 Minutes

Practice & Reflection

Qs & Search Time: Estimated Time 10 Minutes

Final Reflection • Exit Tickets

Information Literacy

This instruction session was designed to the following ACRL Framework for Information Literacy frames: Searching as Strategic Exploration, Authority is Constructed and Contextual, and Research as Inquiry.

Knowledge and disposition statements are identified in the Standards & References tab of this library guide.

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