I am in exam marking mode now, but bubbling away in the back of my mind is a problem I have observed. This problem has been growing in my consciousness for some time now. I have no scientific data or research to prove that this problem is on the increase, but on a purely impressionistic level gained while teaching online, it is. Students do not seem to grasp the difference between scholarship and off-the-cuff journalism on the internet. I have had librarians visit my class when I was still teaching f2f, and they have prepared podcasts for my online courses, and added sections defining scholarly, peer-reviewed sources to my course websites. None of these seem to have made a dent in the wild abandon with which students seize anything and everything off the net to use as sources in essays and exam answers.
So, what to do? I am thinking I might have an initial assignment where I put in my two cents on proper scholarly research for secondary sources, and where students are also required to listen to the podcast prepared by the librarian assigned to my course, and also read the same on the course website – then have a quick test.
I do not like teaching what I consider to be a Middle School curriculum item to university undergraduates, but that is the nature of the beast these days.