Website Evaluation
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Website Evaluation



Website Evaluation

Website Evaluation



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  • Use your checklist to determine which site is best to use.
  • This is more challenging-Give them a try and let Mrs. U know your choices for the best websites. Again, use your checklist to guide you through the process.

Website Evaluation Website Evaluation Presentation Transcript

  • Access, Evaluate, Use How to Research Effectively Using the Internet EVALUATING WEBSITES By: Mrs. Unangst, Your Information Specialist
  • What makes a web page useful for research? Web page
  • Which URLs should I choose?
      • URLs ( U niform R esource L ocators) have a specific structure. Knowing it will help in evaluating which sites to use.
    • This is the format of the URL:
    • protocol://host/path/filename
    • For example, this is a URL on the home page of the House Committee on Agriculture of the U.S. House of Representatives:
    • Structure of this URL:
      • Protocol: http
      • Host computer name: www
      • Second-level domain name: house
      • Top-level domain name: gov (this is your clue!!!!)
      • Directory name: agrictulture
      • File name: schedule.htm
  • Several top-level domains (TLDs) common in the USA:
      • .k12 –schools- CAUTION- Could be a class project
      • .com –commercial enterprise- CAUTION-advertising ahead
      • .edu –colleges- CAUTION- the ~ means a personal site within the college domain (i.e. college student)
      • .gov –government- Most reliable
      • .mil –military- Reliable
      • .net –network access provider- CAUTION-Check for bias
      • .org –usually nonprofit organization- Reliable but check for bias
  • New domain names were approved in November 2000 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): .biz, .museum, .info, .pro (for professionals) .name (for individuals), .aero (for the aerospace industry), and .coop (for cooperatives). These domain names are beginning to become available. .co is being used by now in commercials
  • Country Codes: (the site may not be in English)
      • us = USA
      • uk = United Kingdom
      • gb = Great Britain
      • au = Australia
      • fr = France
      • es = Spain
  • I hyper-linked to a site – how do I know it’s a good one?
    • The 5 W’s of Evaluating Internet Sites:
      • Who is the author or sponsor? Is he/she an expert? Can he/she be contacted?
      • What information is included on the web site?
      • When was the site created or updated?
      • Where is the source of the information? Is there a bibliography?
      • Why was the info written? What is the site’s purpose? Is it fact or opinion?
  • Questions To Think About -
      • Does this site address the topic you are researching? Was the page worth visiting?
      • Do you have good reason to believe that the information on the site is accurate? Do authors provide any supportive evidence for their conclusions?
      • Who are the authors of the Web page? What gives them their authority or expertise to write? Who is responsible for the site? Is this a commercial, governmental, personal, or academic Web site?
  • More Questions to Ponder -
      • What is the purpose of the site? Is the main purpose to inform, to persuade, or to sell you something? Do you understand what is being said? What do you think has not been said that should be addressed?
      • Is the site well organized? Are there misspelled words or examples of poor grammar? Do the links work and are they evaluated or annotated? Do they send you beyond the site to other reliable sources of information? Does the site offer anything unique or does it tell you little more than you could find in an encyclopedia? Are the graphics on the page clear and helpful or distracting and confusing?
  • C A R S
      • C redibility
      • A ccuracy
      • R easonableness
      • S upport
    • Robert Harris is the author of the CARS eval method
  • C redibility
      • Who is responsible?
        • Often difficult to determine
        • Any qualifications?
        • Usually found at beginning or end of site
        • Look for name of author & contact information
          • Look at “About us” or “Contact us”
  • Author’s Credentials
      • Look all over
        • Top, bottom, side bars, etc.
        • Look for a link for an “About us,” a “Biography” section, a “Philosophy”
      • If nothing is listed, truncate the URL
  • Organization Represented?
      • Have you heard of this organization?
      • Check for a disclaimer
      • How do we verify credibility?
        • E-mail Address-- not enough!
        • Need Postal address or
        • Telephone number
      • Check the home page (truncate URL)
  • A ccuracy
      • Date?
        • Warning: Undated factual or statistical information is no better than anonymous information. Don’t use it.
      • Revision date?
      • Errors?
        • Spelling
        • Grammar
    3 or more errors indicate a poor site
  • R easonableness
      • Emotionalism
      • Purpose of the site
        • Inform, explain, persuade, promote, sell, share, facts, disclose, rant, entice, etc.
      • Bias
        • Is there bias in the site? Good or bad to use?
      • Advertising
        • Do ads coincide with document?
        • Is the advertiser a sponsor of the site?
  • S upport
      • Information in any other place?
      • Look at the domain
        • .k12 school
        • .edu college and university
        • .com commercial
        • .net internet resource
        • .org nonprofit organization
        • .gov government
  • Design
      • Is the page easy to read?
      • Is the material well organized?
      • Can you locate what you need quickly?
      • Do graphics add or detract to info?
      • Is flow of links logical & easy to follow?
      • Does the site require extra plug-ins?
      • Is it easy to get back to the original site?
  • Intended Audience
      • Who is the information intended for?
      • Is the information too broad or too narrow for the user?
      • Does the site use technical language that would be hard to understand?
  • Web Site Evaluation What else is there besides content accuracy or authority? Site Access and Usability Information Structure and Design Relevance and Scope of Content Navigation within the Document Quality of Links Aesthetic and Affective Aspects … and more!
  • Sample Site Evaluation Rubric
    • FORMAT 0 = poor 1=acceptable 2=excellent
      • User Friendly 0 1 2
      • Aesthetically Courteous 0 1 2
      • Aesthetically Appealing 0 1 2
      • Credible 0 1 2
      • Useful 0 1 2
      • Rich 0 1 2
      • Interdisciplinary 0 1 2
      • Higher-order Thinking 0 1 2
      • Engaging 0 1 2
      • Taps Multiple Intelligences 0 1 2
      • TOTAL = ___ / 20
  • Decision time!!
      • Do you or do you not use the site?
        • NO, if you cannot verify the authors or sponsoring organization
      • Then you need to carefully decide considering all of the criteria
    • C A R S
  • When to Use the Evaluation Sheets
      • When evaluating pages on the Web
      • Let’s take a look at West Fargo School District’s Library Web Resources (go to the link below, choose “Library” and then “Search Model” for handouts):
  • Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
    •   Most students prefer using the Internet for research and recreation. They will spend countless hours searching and surfing. However, they may not completely understand the Internet's strengths and weaknesses as both a research tool and as a general source of information. Here are some suggestions to help you design effective and successful Internet learning experiences.
      • Provide Guidance If you know the URL, provide it. This way students should have no trouble getting to the web site.
  • Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
      • Plan Ahead Check to make sure that the site is still working a few days before giving the assignment. Web pages have a strange way of vanishing without any warning. Alternately, provide several different sites to visit just in case one or two disappear.
      • Request a Hard (Backup) Copy Have students make a print copy of the web site (Netscape automatically prints the date and time of access) or else ask them to note the date and time they used the site. This should help clear up any problems if the information changes all of a sudden, leaving some students with out-of-date material.
  • Avoid Busywork Ask students to do more than just fetch something off the Internet. Require them to visit one or more sites or search by topic. You might have them compare or evaluate several similar sites. Give them a list of criteria to follow for their comparison or evaluation. If assigning a research project that either wholly or partially includes internet sources, ask student to include their search strategy as a component of the research project. Request that they analyse methods they used to refine their search and what made the search more and less successful. Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
  • Draw on Their Knowledge When assigning students to create a bibliography of web sites (webliography) Ask students to come up with their own method of evaluating and assessing web sources. They could list the criteria they feel is most important in site selection and inclusion. Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
      • Don't Assume Student Expertise Often students cannot always differentiate between advertising and information on a web page, especially undergraduates and those unfamiliar with the web. Often students accept any information found on the web at face value. As above, provide them with the tools to evaluate the web sites they do find.
    Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
      • Use Established, Trustworthy Web Guides/Directories You might want to use the library's Internet Resources as either a starting point for students or else as a link from your class web page. Other invaluable web directories include: Librarians Index to the Internet at
      • Boolify -
      • KidRex -
      • Ask Kids -
      • Kids Click -
      • Yahoo Kids -
      • Study Search -
      • Squirrel Net -
      • Aga Kids -
      • Dib Dab Doo -
    Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
      • Inform the Librarians Let us know about your assignment so that we can be prepared.
    • RECAP -
    • 1. Have something specific to complete each time the students visit the web.
    • 2. Show the students how you searched the web and dertermined which sites to give them to use (modeling)
    • 3. Have the student explain why he chose the site (RADCAB sheet)
    Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
  • RADCAB -
  • Works Cited
      • Harris, Robert. “Evaluating Internet Research Sources.”
      • Alexander, Jan and Tate, Marsha. “Evaluating Web Resources.”
      • Schrock, Kathy. “Critical Evaluation Information.”
      • Robert Lackie. Rider University Professor. Powerpoint presentation given at EMAnj conference.
  • While we are here -- Teaching Citation
  • One last Tidbit
    • Thinkfinity
    • Teacher Tube
  • Time for a Review Quiz -
  • Test Yourself Again Scroll Down to bottom of page and select one to try: Choice 1 – Mayan Calendar Choice 2 – The Sixties Choice 3 – Eggs and Cholesterol
  • Remember -
      • Think about what kind of information you need BEFORE YOU START CLICKING.
      • Locate the best sources (Use the experts-That includes Mrs. U-she can help you find the best sources)
      • Think CRITICALLY about all websites.
  • Other Bogus Websites
    • Can you spot the erroneous information? Use your Checklist to guide you through the evaluation process.
      • Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
      • Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies
  • Evaluating Web Resources THE END Christine Unangst Edison High School Librarian
  • Final Tasks
      • Complete your evaluation.
      • Be certain you have signed the attendance sheet.
      • Shut Down your computer and Turn Off your monitor.
      • Thanks again for coming.