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This module will teach you how to evaluate information using your RADAR.

In this Choose Your Own Adventure style module, your plane has crashed on a deserted island. You must use your RADAR to find your way back home.

There will be a quiz at the end to assess your learning.

Good luck adventurer!

[Link out: Works Cited and Acknowledgements]

[Insert acknowledgements slide info here]

[Link out: Continue]

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, students will be able to…

  • Understand the importance of evaluating information
  • Identify the criteria used to evaluate the sources of information
  • Apply the criteria to any type of information found

[Link out: Click to Begin]

Oh no! Your plane crashed and you washed ashore on this desert island. What do you do?

[Link out: Wait for help]

You lie down and wait for help… the sun beats down on you, and you close your eyes… You fall asleep… Get up, you have to get off this island!

[Link out: Try Again]

[Returns to Link out: Click to Begin slide]

[Link out: Venture into the forest]

Hmm… I have a feeling your RADAR is around here somewhere… Maybe if you click around the bushes you’ll find it.

[Two clickable locations in ‘the bushes’]

  1. A picture of Kendrick Lamar that reads: Nope, sorry, that’s Kendrick Lamar… how did he get there? Try again…
  2. A picture of a flight radar that reads: There it is! At least one thing survived the plane crash… Now what exactly does this thing do again?

[Link out: Click here to find out more!]

RADAR is a framework for evaluating information created by Jane Madalios of the American College of Greece (2013). RADAR strives to be a framework, not a be-all, end-all requirement. If any information source raises concern in your RADAR, there is probably a good reason and there may be a problem with the information at hand.

[Link out]

RADAR can help you remember what questions to ask about information to determine if it is good for your research. If you are still unsure at the end of your search, do not be afraid to ask for help at a Research Help Desk or through Ask a Librarian (https://www.lib.uwo.ca/contact/index)

[Link out]

You will check your RADAR throughout this journey in order to assess the information you are presented with. Click each letter in the acronym to explore what it means before proceeding onward.

Section B.

[Link out: Start]


R is for RELEVANCE. If something is not relevant to your information needs that may be a sign it’s not a good fit! If you aren’t sure where to find relevant information, choose your subject from our list of research guides. https://guides.lib.uwo.ca/?b=s

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does this information answer my research question?
  • Is this information related to my topic?
  • Is this from my discipline? If no. is it okay to use work from another discipline?


A is for AUTHORITY (hint: AUTHORity)

Credibility is important. Check for the creator/publisher’s credentials. If there is no clear author, check to see if it is a reputable organization/institution. If you aren’t sure, there may be an issue with the authority of the information

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who created this information? Who did they cite?
  • Who is the author/publisher affiliated with?


D is for DATE

Consider when the information was first created and/or last updated. Information can become quickly outdated. However, use your best judgement, as just because something is older does not mean it is necessarily bad.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I require the latest/most up-to-date information?
  • If older, is this a seminal work or landmark study?
  • Could I use this for historical context?



How information is presented is often a good indicator of its quality. Scholarly information will typically be presented with little to no advertising, with an abstract and a bibliography. However, this has been changing in recent years.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the information presented in an academic/scholarly manner?
  • Are there references to support the author’s argument?
  • Is the information peer-reviewed? In an academic journal?


R is for REASON

Consider why the information was created in the first place. Information can exist to sell, educate, persuade, entertain, or perhaps simply to “troll.” http://www.netlingo.com/word/troll.php

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the author’s intention for creating the information clear?
  • Was the information created to disseminate scholarly information?

[Link out: Continue]

Remember: RADAR is a guideline only. For example, something may be old (thus failing DATE), but it may be perfect in every other aspect. It might be okay to use old information. RADAR exists to help you remember the criteria used when evaluating information.

Or, in your journey, the criteria used to get off this island and back home!

RADAR can be applied in any order. In this adventure, we will explore each of the criteria individually, and all together at the end.

Good luck!

[Link out: Continue Onward]

Now that you have your RADAR, we can begin gathering supplies to build a raft and get off this island!

Section A.

Where would you like to go? (Visit all areas to continue onward)

[Pictured: 5 bubbles that contain different location names: The Beach, The Cliff, The Waterfall, The Cave and The Clearing]

[Link out: The Beach]

Oh no! The beach is littered with debris, as well as some helpful tools for getting off the island! Assess the APPREARANCE of each item using your RADAR, and sort the junk (into the TRASHCAN) from the items you can use for your raft (into the BACKPACK)

[Pictured: a set or oars, a crab, a ball of paper, a blanket, an aluminum can, a fish]

[Link out: two options depending on where you put the items.]

  1. Correct. That’s right! You can assess the APPEARANCE to determine if something is relevant to your need. APPEARANCE can also be an indicator of the quality of information: well-cited, well-organized, no broken links, etc.
  2. That is incorrect. Please try again.

[Once the exercise is successfully complete, returns to Section A]

[Link out: The Cliff]

You could use these barrels for your raft! I wonder what the DATE on these barrels are.

On the left are modern but rusty barrels, on the right are old but seemingly flawless wooden barrels. Click on the barrels you want to take.

  1. If you click on barrels to the left of screen: These barrels are rusted and may not be the best choice! Your raft may leak and sink. Try again.
  2. If you click on barrels to the right of screen: That’s right! DATE is important when evaluating information. While the barrels are “older”, they are the best option for your boat. DATE can be often hard to assess. A good rule of thumb is research in the past 10 years is considered “recent”, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use older research such as landmark studies for your work. If you’re having trouble, just ask a librarian! Continue.

[Once the exercise is successfully complete, returns to Section A]

[Link out: The Waterfall]

Wow, this island isn’t so bad after all! This waterfall is a nice place to spend the afternoon.

But is this really RELEVANT to your research?

  1. Yes! Waterfalls are awesome! Hmm… maybe you should reconsider, you need to get off this island!
  2. NO! You need to get off this island. That’s right! You have work to do! You can use some of these fallen trees for wood for your raft though. Looks like it wasn’t a waste of time coming here!  Don’t forget that RELEVANCE is important. You need to assess information based upon its relevance to your need. If it isn’t relevant, then move on! Back to the forest.

[Once the exercise is successfully complete, returns to Section A]

[Link out: The Cave]

It sure is dark in here… maybe you should turn back.

Wait, what’s that?? [Lasso appears in picture, grunting sound]

You can use this rope to build a raft!

What’s that grunting in the background? [Ogre appears on screen]

That’s my rope! I am the AUTHORITY in this cave and you’ll have to answer these questions if you want to make it out of here!

There’s a clue! Remember to evaluate the AUTHORITY of the person who created or published the information.

This cave troll will try to test you, but you can win using your RADAR

Questions 1: What is AUTHORITY when evaluating information?

  1. The creator or publisher of information. That’s right! Authority refers to the creator or publisher of information
  2. The amount of power one wields. That is incorrect. Please try again.
  3. Police Officers. That is incorrect. Please try again.

Question 2: True or False? University Professors are the only real authoritative source one can trust.

  1. That’s right! Government agencies, Think Tanks, Institutes, etc. may also be authoritative. Although University credentials are a good indicator, use your RADAR to determine how authoritative information is.
  2. That is incorrect. Please try again.

Question 3. Complete the sentence. Professors usually want peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals because…

  1. they are mean like this cave troll and want to create extra work for students. That is incorrect. Please try again.
  2. they’re trying to challenge students. That is incorrect. Please try again.
  3. peer-reviewed articles are the best bet for valuable and reliable information. That’s right! Until you’ve refined your RADAR skills, it’s best to use scholarly journals found on library databases to ensure you’re getting the good stuff.
  4. scholarly journals are published monthly so they have the most up to date information. That is incorrect. Please try again.

ARGGH! You’re smart! With that RADAR, you’ll be sure to steer clear of misinformation. I guess you can have this rope.

Remember! Authority is contextual. If you aren’t sure if an author or publisher has the credentials to be publishing the information, do a little more digging and find out. Academic, peer-reviewed sources from the library are your best bet!

[Link out: The Clearing]

Your plane crashed here! I wonder if we can figure out the REASON why it CRASHED in the first place.

Click on the plane below to investigate.

Hmm… by the looks of it, it appears you’ve purchased a prop plane, designed to entertain, not fly long distance. You should’ve evaluated the AUTHORITY of the salesman!

[Link out: Next]

You found the REASON your plane crashed. With information, you need to evaluate the REASON it was created in the first place. Information created to sell or persuade probably isn’t very reliable and usually has a bias. You can find information created to inform or educate in the library.

Now grab some supplies from your plane and continue on.

[Once all link outs have been explored]

You did it! Our raft is complete and stocked up with supplies and we can get finally get off this island.

Would you like to review your RADAR before we sail away? This will be the last time you can until you get home.

[Link out: Review RADAR first, returns to Section B]

[Link out: Get off this island]

Ahh, the open sea. Good think I have my trusty RADAR to guide me home.

[Link out: Refresh your “RADAR” Knowledge, returns to Section B]

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