Can you TRUST the Web? Evaluating what you find LMS
Do you agree ? 2. . “If I find information on the web, it must be true.” Because no standards exist to publish information on the Web, careful evaluation is a MUST. <ul><li>“ Information on the Web is largely regulated and checked.” </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike newspapers, books, and other printed sources, information on the Web is not regulated by any rules or organization. </li></ul>
Information Literacy <ul><li>Strategies that teach students : </li></ul><ul><li>How to find information on the Internet, and more importantly </li></ul><ul><li>How to evaluate the quality of the information they find on the Web. </li></ul>
Four steps to web research with HEALTHY SKEPTICISM
#1. Look at the URL Who published the page (put it on the web) ? Type of domain, type of site by domain code .com., .edu, .net, .gov, .mil Publisher equivalent usually = “server” or “host” Between the http:// and the first / EXAMPLE http ://library.berkeley.edu /TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
Spot & watch out for possible personal pages Is there a ~ or a % in the URL preceding a name ? http://who.what.edu/~pjones/whatever.html http://www.cs.unb.ca/%alopez-o/polind.html All “personal pages” are not unreliable. But look for the author’s credentials and evaluate carefully.
#2 Who wrote the page ? Try to establish AUTHORITY/CREDIBILITY Is there a person or organization responsible for the web page? Who sponsors it? Look for a name or e-mail link Does the author have an official title? Credentials of author? “ About” section, “my philosophy” Is there a bibliography or reference page ? If the page does not have either a sponsoring organization or a credible author, it may not be a RELIABLE source.
#3 Check the date Establishing Currency! <ul><li>Last updated” at bottom </li></ul><ul><li>Look at other pages from this site: </li></ul><ul><li>Truncate back the URL to “higher” pages </li></ul><ul><li>Not all pages on a site are updated at once </li></ul>
#4 - Objectivity vs. Bias To inform ? To give facts or data or schedules ? To sell, entice ? Is only one side of the argument presented? Can you tell fact from opinion? What is the page’s purpose ? Why was it created ? Be suspicious of too many opinions or advertisements on a web page.
#5 – What about the Page Content? Establishing ACCURACY <ul><li>Does the site cover the topic accurately? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you understand what is being said? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it agree with information you found in books and other sources? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the links well chosen? Who else links to the site? (You can perform a link check in Google or AltaVista by entering “link:webaddress” in the search box). Is it linked to reliable sites? </li></ul><ul><li>Would you include this site in your bibliography? </li></ul>
Here is a pop quiz for you: Compare these two statistical sites related to AIDS. Which one of the two do you think is a reliable resource for research about AIDS? Why? Exhibit 1 Exhibit 2
If you’re not sure about the authenticity of your source, don’t use it! The rule of thumb is “When in doubt, doubt”
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