Blog Post

Building an online tool for information credibility analysis

My dissertation research at the University of Michigan School of Information combines my three areas of interest: Information Literacy, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and online credibility evaluation. I am designing and building an online collaborative learning tool called "InCredibility" to support students in learning to become more effective evaluators of online information.

This research explores areas of overlap and synergy between the three fields by applying IL teaching models to the evaluation of online information without being limited to print-based criteria, linking online credibility evaluation research with IL practice, and employing CSCL principles in a discipline-neutral learning tool that can be applied to generic online searching. The InCredibility tool guides students through the process of evaluating online information in an interactive, learner-centered format. Using the tool, students learn key criteria of information credibility evaluation (authority, purpose, reliability, currency and relevance) and how to apply them to make evaluations online, and they receive repeated practice and reflection on their own credibility evaluation work and that of their peers.

More broadly, I'm interested in the realms of digital media and learning, 21st century literacies, and digital humanities.

I look forward to learning about the research projects of other HASTAC Scholars!



Can your tool (or revision) be used at elementary or secondary education?  Evaluation of information is a skill that students need throughout their education.


Yes, I definitely agree. Presently, the tool is designed for college undergraduates, although there is definitely potential for it to be used with high school students as well. The only reason I chose to start with college students was the institutional challenges of geting access to high school classes and their teachers. The university envrionement is more conducive to experiementation and less rigidly time structured.


I have access to elementary and secondary students in emerging countries.  Could your approach be expanded to online techniques.  I recognize the need for security especially until you have your degree, but just wanted to let you know about the possibilities.

If you need help with design or statistics, I directed over 100 Ph.D., MA, and independent projects ni psychology and education.  Be glad to help.



Fantastic! Thanks for the offer. I'm currently pilot-testing, so it's still early, but I will post updates.

The tool I'm designing is totally online. It's intended to be used by a co-located class, but that could potentially change.