Evaluating Websites

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Students need help learning that just because it came from Google doesn't make it factual. This is a powerpoint lesson that reviews how to evaluate a website. It is used in conjunction with live …

Students need help learning that just because it came from Google doesn't make it factual. This is a powerpoint lesson that reviews how to evaluate a website. It is used in conjunction with live examples, Nettrekker, and a rubric activity for evaluating websites.

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  • 1. Evaluating Websites The Good, the bad, and the ugly…
  • 2. Why does it matter?
    • The World Wide Web has a lot to offer, but not all sources are equally valuable or reliable.
    • Anyone can put anything on the web without being censored or verified.
    • It is difficult to sift through the information to evaluate it.
  • 3. Authority - What is the AUTHOR'S expertise?
    • How much experience does the author have in this area?
    • What is the author's occupation?
    • What is the author's educational background?
    • What is the author's reputation among others in the field?
  • 4. Why evaluate the author?
    • Anyone can author information on the Internet WITHOUT approval.
    • The content of most Web pages is published BEFORE it is evaluated by people with knowledge of the subject.
    • Books, magazines and other print resources are published AFTER thorough reviews by experts.
  • 5. How do you evaluate?
    • Look for other pages by the author on the same site or other sites.
    • Find additional pages by or about the author. Look for a header or footer showing affiliation.
  • 6. Is the Publisher reliable?
    • Look at the URL. http://www.fbi.gov
    • Look at the domain. . edu, .com, .ac.uk, .org, .net
    • Is this a national or international organization?
    • What is the mission of the organization?
    • Is this site sponsoring the author's page or just providing web space?
    • Does the site provide a contact for further information?
  • 7. Why is it important?
    • Knowing about the organization that sponsors a site can sometimes provide clues for further investigation.
    • Educational, non-profit and commercial sites tend to sponsor different kinds of information.
    • knowing the name is no guarantee of quality.
  • 8. How do you know?
    • Identify the domain of the site (what are the last letters of the URL?).
    • Look for "about this site" links and follow them to find what the organizations have to say about themselves.
    • Backtrack through the hierarchy of the URL (also known as truncation). This will often take you to the main home page of the organization where relevant information may be found.
  • 9. Accuracy and Objectivity
    • Is the information reliable and error-free?
    • Is there an editor or someone who verifies/checks the information?
    • Does the information show a minimum of bias?
    • Is the page designed to sway opinion?
    • Is there any advertising on the page?
  • 10. Why does it matter?
    • The accuracy of factual information can tell you something about the care the author took in preparing the document
    • Can provide clues to (lack of) expertise or potential bias in the ideas represented in the document.
  • 11. How do you check?
    • Cross check factual data with other documents on the web by searching for other pages containing information about the facts.
    • Even checking spelling and grammar can sometimes provide a clue about the care taken in creating a document.
  • 12. Is it Current or Fresh?
    • Is the page dated? If so, when was the last update?
    • How current are the links? Have some expired or moved?
    • Does the date of publication affect the reliability of the information?
    • Does the date the document was last updated affect the reliability of the information?
  • 13. Coverage
    • What topics are covered?
    • What is covered here that can’t be found anywhere else?
    • What is its intrinsic value?
    • How in-depth is the material?
  • 14. Why is coverage important?
      • Web coverage often differs from print coverage.
      • difficult to determine the extent of coverage of a topic from a web page -may or may not include links to other web pages or print references.
      • Sometimes web information is "just for fun", a hoax, someone's personal expression that may be of interest to no one, or even outright silliness
  • 15. Let’s Watch a Clip…
  • 16. Bibliography
    • http://21cif.imsa.edu/resources/tips_OLDProd/evaluate_tips
    • http://www.islma.org/resources.htm#website
    • http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html
    • Discovering Language Arts: Research Skills (Grades 9-12). Discovery Channel School. 2007. unitedstreaming. 27 September 2007 <http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/>