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Teaching Infographic Source Evaluation to Biology Majors

Date

2015-07-15

Author

Hartman, Patricia
Roberts, Sharon

Publisher

American Library Association

Abstract

Infographics are an effective means of communicating information quickly and impactfully. They are often used to present complex datasets and statistics that otherwise would be difficult to digest. This makes them valuable information resources, but their very simplicity makes them capable of leading viewers to dramatically different conclusions about the same information. As such, infographic source evaluation is an important component of information literacy, particularly important in the sciences, where graphic representations of data and statistics are the norm; however, it is often overlooked. We (science librarian and Biology professor) collaborated to develop two infographic source evaluation sessions embedded into an epidemiology-themed course for freshman Biology majors. We had two goals for these sessions: 1) Students would be able to apply evaluative criteria to infographic sources in order to judge accuracy, bias, and quality of infographics; and 2) students would be able to locate appropriate scientific data sources in order to create their own infographics. In our poster presentation, we will share information on the development of the classes, the activities and materials we used, class outcomes, and the benefits to students, faculty member, and librarian.