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Website evaluation


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Published in: Technology, Education
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Website evaluation

  1. 1. Web Site Evaluation Why do we need to evaluate web sites? What criteria can we use?
  2. 2. Is it okay to use a site I found on the Internet?
  3. 3. Straining out the trash <ul><li>Anyone can publish on the Web! </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing companies edit books and check facts </li></ul><ul><li>The Web has no editor </li></ul>
  4. 4. 6 Steps to Web Site Evaluation <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><li>How </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapted from Kathy Schrock </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Who? <ul><li>Who is the author? </li></ul><ul><li>Is an author biography included? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are his or her credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the author’s experience really qualify him or her as an expert? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul><ul><li>Is the page hosted by a free server like AOL Members, Tripod, Geocities? </li></ul>
  6. 6. The author’s name isn’t on the site- should I just leave it out?
  7. 7. Look for clues! <ul><li>Is there a link to a home page? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a link called “about us” or “contact us” or some other indication that it might contain author information? </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What? <ul><li>What information is on the page? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the information complete? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the information accurate?- Can it be verified? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there errors on the page? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does this information help to answer my question? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes this web site better than another source? </li></ul>
  9. 9. When? <ul><li>When was the site created? </li></ul><ul><li>When was the site last updated? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it recent enough for you to use? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>USA Today </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Has the author of the page stopped maintaining it? </li></ul><ul><li>Be suspicious of undated material. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Where? <ul><li>Where is the information from? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are sources listed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are those sources real? Have you or your librarian heard of or been able to verify them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where can I go for more information? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there links to more sites? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are the links reliable? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Why? <ul><li>Why was the site created? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is the intended audience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the purpose of the site stated? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there another reason it exists? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tobacco </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chips Ahoy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Considering Bias <ul><li>Does the source present a particular view point? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the page affiliated with an organization that has a particular political or social agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the page selling a product? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you find other material to offer balance so that you can see the bigger picture? </li></ul><ul><li>Was the information found in a paid placement or sponsored result from the search engine? </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Information is seldom neutral. Sometimes a bias is useful for persuasive essays or debates. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizing bias is important. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Look at the URL <ul><li>The suffix of the URL may help identify the type of website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.com=commercial sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.edu=school or university site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.gov=U.S. government site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.org=organization </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. How? <ul><li>How easy is it to read the page? </li></ul><ul><li>How quickly does the page download? </li></ul><ul><li>How easy is it to navigate through the web site? </li></ul><ul><li>How well do the links work? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Evaluate a few of these sites: <ul><li>Velcro Crop </li></ul><ul><li>Tree Octopus </li></ul><ul><li>Buy dehydrated water </li></ul><ul><li>The Biology of Vampires </li></ul><ul><li>MoonBeam Enterprises and Lunar Travel Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Island </li></ul><ul><li>ALA Great Sites for Kids </li></ul><ul><li>Science Buddies </li></ul>
  16. 16. Don’t believe everything you see or read on the Internet! Use these evaluation techniques whenever you need information to make a decision.