Online Tutorial for Computerized Information in Agriculture
Participating planning searching learning & evaluating


Logic of Evaluation
Module C (1) Concept Mapping
Module C (2) Mental Imagery
Module C (3) Narrative
Additional Evaluation Criteria
Decision Chart



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C. Evaluating

Critical thinking skills are essential for evaluating information. They are:

  1. The skill to extrapolate meaning from information gathered from various sources

    It is crucial to extrapolate meaning out of bits and pieces of information by investigating their intercalating relationships. When you gain an understanding of the information, you become knowledgeable in the topic you are researching. Your knowledge will accumulate as your research progresses, providing you with reference points to evaluate new information and apply it to your porject--you need background knowledge to determine validity of newfound information. This tutorial suggests that you use concept mapping as a tool to help you gather meaning from bits and pieces of information.

  2. The skill to ask crucial question

    Asking the right questions leads to many important discoveries; it is also relevant for effective information evaluation. However, even the simplest facts and the most obvious factors can be neglected or missed, so that crucial questions are not being examined. This tutorial suggests you use mental imagery, based on the extrapolated meanings from your concept mapping, to reveal questions that are both obvious and hidden. This tutorial speculates that the extrapolated meanings from concept mapping will provide a framework to guide your thinking process, so that you will discover questions otherwise omitted from your research.

  3. The skill to determine what information is needed to further the research

    After questions are formulated, you will need to decide (1) if they require you to re-examine the validity of your existing knowledge of the information about your topic, and (2), if they direct you to a new aspect about this research you have not considered. If validity is an issue, you will need to determine where the pivotal point of the conflict is: what information is needed to help determine whether the conflict is true or untrue? If the questions lead to new aspects, you need to decide whether you want to pursue further research.

This tutorial suggests using the storytelling technique to examine questions derived from mental imagery. Storytelling can be in verbal or written form--a written record/document, or an engaging dialogue with oneself or with others.

For records, dialogs and documents, provide a story of what has taken place. The goal is to help sort through the questions and determine what information is needed in order to further the research.