Social Media Literacy: An Online Source Evaluation Activity

Poster Description: This poster will discuss turning an information literacy activity into an online one-shot or asynchronous exercise. Through looking at various sources about one topic, students are prompted to think about context and production to decide if a resource would be useful for a scholarly essay.

Poster: View slides on Canva.

Presenter Name: Haley Gillilan, University of Virginia

Presenter Bio: Haley Hope Gillilan is a undergraduate student success librarian at the University of Virginia. She’s interested in connecting undergraduates to their academic library through instruction, outreach, and collaboration. Contact her at

13 replies on “Social Media Literacy: An Online Source Evaluation Activity”

Hello, Haley! I really enjoyed working through your actvity and think that this is a valuable resource for students. Working through the tutorial on my own, I was not provided any feedback so I was unsure if I answered the questions correctly. From reading over your poster presentation, I am assuming that you typically assign this tutorial as part of the live, online activities of a class. However, for students who work through this activity asynchronously, it would be helpful to provide some feedback such as, “Correct!” or “Incorrect and here’s why…” Just something to consider to make this excellent resource even more useful for students and professors who may not be able to meet together to engage synchronously in the activity.

Yes, this is definitely something about this activity that I want to tweak! Due to various reasons, my team decided that Qualtrics was the best format for this activity, even though we knew it wouldn’t give feedback. But I’m trying to figure out a way.

Great way of teaching about social media as sources as well as using a Libguide as a platform of storing the packets. Could you transfer the discussion to an asynchronous environment such as discussion board?

I think that’s a great idea! My first thought was to reformat it into something that’s like a “live” document like a google doc or a padlet. Do you have any favorite discussion board tools that you like for these kinds of activities, I’m definitely open to suggestions!

I love this! I have thought about resource packets before and I think it’s a fabulous idea!

Thank you so much Rachel! They were honestly interesting to put together, too.

Very interesting! Thank you. Would you be willing to share your lesson plan or the activity worksheet that guides students on their review of the sources? I am also thinking that Padlet could be used to ask students how they would evaluate rather than providing the path upfront.

Hi Joy! Thank you so much! I’d be happy to send you the lesson plan, just send me an email! The activity worksheet is in the libguide, it’s the qualtrics link on the homepage!

Thanks for your poster. Could you post here what the outcomes were for this activity? Did the outcomes change between the former synchronous activity and the current asynchronous activity?

My experience with asynchronous learning is that I usually have to do “less” than I would during a synchronous session. Nuance is harder to convey, and as you’ve found here, feedback and engagement due to feedback may be less in asynchronous delivery modes.

I know it is a lot of work to design instruction for different delivery modes, so keep it up and good luck!

Hi Jen!

That’s a great question! Truthfully, there were not enough asynchronous results to notice a difference. Even though it was offered to instructors as an asynchronous option and there was interest, none of them actually offered it to their students. I’m hoping to keep offering this asynchronously and to see the assignment grow. Another hope that I have would be that the instructor would lead a discussion about it with their students after they assigned it, either on a discussion board or in class, so students are able to process the information and give the valuable feedback they gave during my one-shot instructions.

Thank you for sharing this – while I can see how this was powerful in it’s original iteration, I imagine it’s interesting to see how students encounter these materials in digital format as well, since that’s how many of them do their research. For the Instagram picture I wonder if you had another Instagram post for the Malala Yousafzai or Henrietta Lacks, particularly since book-Instagram is so active maybe that could be a way to prime the students to get off the inital post and investigate more for the Megan Markle picture?