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Information Literacy Toolkit

Lesson plans and conversation prompts for learning about the ARCL Framework

Resources

To Start

Google Web Search

​Activity

Run an image search in Google for “beauty” and describe the types of images that appear

Questions

  • What kind of images appear?
  • What are the demographics of these people? 
  • Does Google answer the question of “what is beauty?”
  • How do these images compare to other ways of depicting or defining beauty?

 

Learn about web searching

After having searched for the term "beauty" in Google, ask yourself:

What factors affect what images appear here?

Refer to the How Google Works handout to learn about the structure of web searching. Factors affecting the search results shown include search bias (relevancy, popularity, and biased algorithms), cultural bias (whiteness, North America), financial gain (beauty industry, stock photo industry), and Google account information (including location).

Test your knowledge:

  • Would the images for this search be the same if you were to run the search in a different country?
  • Who determines what images appear online?
  • Would the result set be different if you searched when signed out of your Google account?

Be Critical of Bias

Activity

Imagine that you’re doing research for an assignment on the Canadian beauty industry. What biases might you have? What biases might you find in the research? 

It is important to be critically aware of bias:

  • Our own bias and cultural bias
  • The bias of information sources (this is a biased set of search results)

It is important to be aware of bias so that we can:

  • Develop our critical thinking skills
  • Choose the appropriate information sources
  • Avoid reiterating bias