Website evaluation
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  • This presentation explains how to objectively look at web sites.
  • Clues often appear on the top or bottom of a page, or in menu bars and frames. These sections often contain authorship clues!
  • Pages can be cluttered and confusing Graphics can slow down the page
  • I used several of these web sites to demonstrate how easy it is to be deceived by persuasive looking web sites.

Website evaluation Website evaluation Presentation Transcript

  • Web Site Evaluation Why do we need to evaluate web sites? What criteria can we use?
  • Is it okay to use a site I found on the Internet?
  • Straining out the trash
    • Anyone can publish on the Web!
    • Publishing companies edit books and check facts
    • The Web has no editor
  • 6 Steps to Web Site Evaluation
    • Who
    • What
    • When
    • Where
    • Why
    • How
      • Adapted from Kathy Schrock
  • Who?
    • Who is the author?
    • Is an author biography included?
      • What are his or her credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliation?
      • Does the author’s experience really qualify him or her as an expert?
    • Is this a personal page or is it an endorsed part of a site belonging to a major institution? (Clues pointing to a personal page: ~ tilde, %, users, members)
    • Is the page hosted by a free server like AOL Members, Tripod, Geocities?
  • The author’s name isn’t on the site- should I just leave it out?
  • Look for clues!
    • Is there a link to a home page?
    • Is there a link called “about us” or “contact us” or some other indication that it might contain author information?
    • Delete characters from the last part of the address line up to the next slash to go back a page. Continue until you reach a page with more information about the author.
  • What?
    • What information is on the page?
      • Is the information complete?
      • Is the information accurate?- Can it be verified?
      • Are there errors on the page?
    • Does this information help to answer my question?
    • What makes this web site better than another source?
  • When?
    • When was the site created?
    • When was the site last updated?
      • Is it recent enough for you to use?
        • USA Today
    • Has the author of the page stopped maintaining it?
    • Be suspicious of undated material.
  • Where?
    • Where is the information from?
      • Are sources listed?
      • Are those sources real? Have you or your librarian heard of or been able to verify them?
    • Where can I go for more information?
      • Are there links to more sites?
      • Are the links reliable?
  • Why?
    • Why was the site created?
      • Who is the intended audience?
      • Is the purpose of the site stated?
      • Is there another reason it exists?
        • Tobacco
        • Chips Ahoy
  • Considering Bias
    • Does the source present a particular view point?
    • Is the page affiliated with an organization that has a particular political or social agenda?
    • Is the page selling a product?
    • Can you find other material to offer balance so that you can see the bigger picture?
    • Was the information found in a paid placement or sponsored result from the search engine?
    • Information is seldom neutral. Sometimes a bias is useful for persuasive essays or debates.
    • Recognizing bias is important.
  • Look at the URL
    • The suffix of the URL may help identify the type of website:
      • .com=commercial sites
      • .edu=school or university site
      • .gov=U.S. government site
      • .org=organization
  • How?
    • How easy is it to read the page?
    • How quickly does the page download?
    • How easy is it to navigate through the web site?
    • How well do the links work?
  • Evaluate a few of these sites:
    • Velcro Crop
    • Tree Octopus
    • Buy dehydrated water
    • The Biology of Vampires
    • MoonBeam Enterprises and Lunar Travel Agency
    • Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
    • Dog Island
    • ALA Great Sites for Kids
    • Science Buddies
  • Don’t believe everything you see or read on the Internet! Use these evaluation techniques whenever you need information to make a decision.