MCOM 191 Research

A platform for the Research section of MCOM 191

Reliability and Evaluation of Information Sources


In this module you will be looking at the information landscape in which we live and ways in which you can determine reliability. Your assignment will be to answer questions based on videos and presentations in the module. Answers should be two to five lines in length each.

Evaluation of Information

In a world of confusing messages, it is crucial that we know how to evaluate information effectively. There are so many voices out there, many of them less than reliable. Even academic information can sway our beliefs in a certain direction while we miss the value of other points of view.  Here are two resources that you need to encounter in order to figure out what's important in evaluation.

1. To begin with, read a short essay that Bill Badke, Associate Librarian here at TWU (and the author of your textbook!) wrote for information professionals: Evidence and the Search for Truth (TWU Login required). Note that the first 4 paragraphs have a bunch of shop-talk. Skim through that and pick up the argument in paragraph 5.

2. Then view the following TED Talk by Julia Galef, which is a brilliant argument for a mindset required of people who want to do a great job of evaluating information: 

Google and Friends


Google is the world's library catalog. In multiple languages with billions of websites available through its search engine. It's the go-to search engine for anything you want to know. A lot of us, however, fail to reckon with the fact that anyone can post to the Internet, from a renowned scientist to your strange Uncle Frank who specializes in Zombie research and thinks "The Walking Dead" needs more gore. How can you know what to trust? Fact is, you can't always. Let's start with Google and then move on to consider social media. Below are two resources: a video and a presentation. Your assignment in the right column will ask you questions from each of them, so watch carefully. It might be helpful to have the assignment questions (column 3) in front of you so that you can answer them as you view the resources.

1. A video related to a crucial question about Google results (be sure to open in full screen).

2. The following Prezi (advance your screens by clicking on arrow under the image) looks at Google and Academic Study. We are not dumping on Google, just pointing out that it may not be the best tool for academic study. Websites are difficult to investigate for reliability and are not always reviewed by experts before they are published.

View this presentation (open to full screen): 


Assignment One

Download the template for Assignment One using the link to the Word doc below.


A passing grade requires that student responses:

1. Show understanding of the information provided in videos and presentations

2. Answer the questions asked

3. Provide clear answers