WHAT IT IS:
The CRAAP Test is a useful method for evaluating resources. It is most often used to evaluate websites, but the same criteria can be applied to other types of resources as well. CRAAP is a cheeky acronym that stands for:
HOW IT WORKS:
Here are the steps to go through when administering the CRAAP test on any given resource:
- Currency – an article written 25 years ago may not be an accurate account of current academic thinking. Questions students can ask themselves regarding the currency of a resource include: When was the article written? Have there been any recent updates? Are there resources on the topic that are more recent?
- Relevance – sometimes, especially when a resource or article is interesting or exciting, it can be easy for us to get lost on a tangent that doesn’t really address our original need. Even if the information is current and accurate, it may not be relevant. Questions students can ask themselves regarding the relevance of a resource include: Who is the intended audience? What information are you looking for? Does the resource stay on topic?
- Authority – It’s important to make sure resources have the appropriate credentials or that authors have the appropriate experiences to speak or write on the topic at hand. Here are a few questions that students can ask themselves regarding authority: What methods were used to gather the data presented? Is the author experienced enough on this topic? Do they have a degree in the field? Are there references that suggest others in the field hold this resource or these authors in high esteem?
- Accuracy – Depending on the type of resource, it is important to check claims for accuracy. If sources are cited, encourage students to check one or two of them out. If there is data within the resource, it is important to check out where it came from. Here are some questions students can ask themselves regarding accuracy: Where did the data come from? Are sources cited? If so, are they solid sources (may need to CRAAP test them!)? Are the claims made here echoed elsewhere?
- Purpose – Some articles are written for motives that aren’t always clear. Here are some questions students can ask themselves regarding purpose: Why was this resource created? Is this a controversial subject? Is the author’s opinion more apparent than objective data?