Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: “Recycling C.R.A.P.” by LeBlanc and Quintiliano

This week’s Spotlight on Scholarship features Robert E. LeBlanc’s and Barbara Quintiliano’s article “Recycling C.R.A.P.: Reframing a Popular Mnemonic for Library Instruction”, published in Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice in Volume 3, Issue 2, Fall 2015, pp. 115-121.

This article reports how the library instruction team at one university library reworked the information evaluation mnemonic tool known as the C.R.A.P. test in response to the Framework, where instead of Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose/Point of View, the letters were changed and taught to students as Conversation, Revision, Authority, and Property. The authors describe how the C.R.A.P. test was a deeply embedded pedagogical approach shared across the library instruction team, and so reworking this mnemonic device to reflect the concepts within the Framework was a valuable exercise for this library. The article shares one possible interpretation of the frames, with consideration for which concepts within the frames map to first and second year, which to third and fourth year, and which to graduate level research, making this a worthwhile example of understanding and teaching the frames in developmentally appropriate ways. The impact of teaching the reworked C.R.A.P. test is reported via classroom-level assessment, which indicated that 69% of the 67 first-year students polled “said that the acronym provided new or novel information regarding the research process,” among other findings. The article is valuable in that it represents an example of a library instruction program taking a pedagogical approach that is deeply embedded within the program and reimagining it through the Framework, rather than throwing out past practice and starting entirely from scratch.

Robert E. LeBlanc is First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian and Barbara Quintiliano is Instructional Design Librarian/Nursing & Life Sciences Team Leader, both in Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.

The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a weekly post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.