Ensuring Your Resources are Valid by Christin Banes
Visit the following site, and make some
observations about the type of information you
find there: Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies
You will notice information found is well-
organized and the style of the page seems to be
professional, but upon further investigation,
some issues pop up…
The information here is not supported by
scientific fact, or by functional links, and the
author does not offer verifiable information
about his background
Let’s discuss the reasons a
web site may be useful or not
and how to decide if a site is valid.
By the end of this lesson, you will
be able to look at a site online and
determine if the site is reliable through
a simple, clear evaluation process.
Introduction to Evaluation
The Five W’s of Evaluation
Information can be posted to You should be looking for:
the Internet by anyone and authenticity- true information
that is supported elsewhere and
editorial or expert review is not proven fact
always used, so don’t always Authorship-written by an expert
trust it. with a reputable education, an
author with a biography and links
May look credible meaning links to more information about them,
to other sites, nicely presented, an author who can be contacted,
and supporting information, but authors who used verifiable
is actually untrue. Bias- information that only
It is best to get a base of represents one side of an
knowledge from print resources argument
Usability-a site that easy to
like databases, encyclopedias or navigate through, information
nonfiction books to know when that is correct and can be verified
information is questionable. and links that work
Who wrote the pages
and are they an expert?
Is there a biography?
Can I find out more
about the author-Look in
the “about us” or
“contact us” sections?
Where was the author
Can you verify the
authority of the
I can probably find information about the
author in the…
a. “About us” or “contact us” section
b. The “Games” section
c. The “photo gallery” section
d. The “blogs” section
What is the main purpose of the
What is easy about this site?
What information is presented
and is it better than another
What links to similar sites are
What kind of in-depth
information is provided or is it
broad and vague?
Look for lots of pictures and
If the main purpose of a site is to give
information it will NOT
a. Be a governmental site
b. Persuade me to think a certain way
c. Be an educational site
When was the site last
When was the site
created? Is there a date
When are the
scheduled updates or
Do the links work?
A site whose links are for the most part
inoperable is probably out of date and not
kept up by its author.
Where is the
Where can I find out
information about the
Is the information one-
sided or biased?
Verify the domain type
or what type of site it is
(more about this later)
Information will usually be good if it is from…
a. A governmental site
b. An educational site
c. A professional site of an expert
d. All of the above
Why is this information
Why should I use this
Why is this page better
than others? Does the
what I have found in
Good sources for initial printed information
c. Nonfiction books
d. All of the above
.gov- applies to federal departments, in Canada it is .gov.ca
.gc-the federal government in Canada uses this in some of its
.edu-represents four year universities and colleges
.org-represents organizations and groups, often trying to
convince a visitor to agree with them
.com-represents commercial sites, often trying to persuade a
.net-intended for networks involved in Internet operations
These sites are now allowable for a variety of organizations
and many different types of sites are associated with each.
The government still holds the greatest validity, and are only
held by governmental departments.
Which domain is still the most reliable?
b. .net-Internet networks
c. .gov- Governmental
d. .edu-Colleges, educational
1. Are commercial sites good sources of
a. no, they are always biased
c. Sometimes, but lookout for persuasive
2. Where should I begin my research process?
a. Ask the teacher
b. In a print source like a nonfiction book or
3. Who would be the best provider of
a. A group of kids
b. An organization trying to get me to buy
c. An expert on the subject
4. Should you use a site without an author?
b. Sometimes, if it is a page on a reputable site
I have reviewed
5. How can you tell if a site is biased?
a. If the information is only about one side of
b. All sides of an argument are presented
c. A site is NOT trying to get you to buy
something or think like them
Use the form found at the following site to
find a good site on the properties and uses of
Print out the form, complete it and turn it in.
Schrock, Kathy. (2001). Information-Literacy Primer: Learning to research
on the web. Edutopia. George Lucas Educational Foundation. 30 June
Schrock, Kathy. (2010). Teacher Helpers: Critical Evaluation Information.
Discovery Education. 30 June 2010. Retrieved from
(2010). The Five W’s of Cyberspace. Media Awareness Network. 1 July 2010.
Retrieved from http://www.media-
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