We've been doing research into why students fail to separate fact from fiction on the web.

What we've found? Students are bad at the web because they've been taught techniques that make them bad at it. And they've learned those those bad techniques from teachers.

Here's some things students often believe:

These are only a few of the (very wrong) things students believe. Before you learn to read the web you may have to unlearn some of the stuff you've been taught.

How Craap goes astray

A picture of the CRAAP method with 20+ questions.

A picture of the CRAAP method with 20+ questions.

Most instruction students get about reading the web is derived from a set of approaches called "checklist approaches".

Sometimes these approaches were presented as literal checklists. Above is a checklist for a methodology called CRAAP. (I'm not joking).

Sometimes they weren't checklists, but a set of "things to look for in a web page."

What the approaches had in common was this: you'd come to a webpage and look for signals that the page was trustworthy on the page itself. You'd ask questions like

The "checklist" idea? Students were told the more "good" things the page had the more "trustworthy" it was.