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Evaluating Internet Sources

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Evaluating Internet Sources

  1. 1. Evaluating Internet Sources<br />Sharon Doetsch-Kidder, PhD<br />
  2. 2. Objectives<br />Learn to evaluate the validity and accuracy of information found online<br />Learn how to determine the purpose of a web page and if online information is still current or relevant<br />Develop skills for assessing bias<br />
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  5. 5. Domain<br />com: commercial <br />org/net: primarily nonprofit organizations/networks (now open to anyone) <br />edu: educational <br />gov/mil/us: government/military <br />non-US <br />other:<br />
  6. 6. What can you tell from the URL?<br />What can you tell from the server name? Who published the page? <br />Have you heard of this entity before?Does it correspond to the name of the site?<br />Is it somebody's personal page? <br />Look for a personal name following a tilde ( ~ ), a percent sign ( % ), or or the words "users," "members," or "people."<br />Is the server a commercial ISP or other provider of web page hosting (like aol.com or geocities.com)?<br />
  7. 7. Look for information about the publisher<br />Look for an “About Us,” “Biography,” or similar link. Check the top, bottom, and any sidebars.<br />You made need to truncate back the URL to find more information. For example: <br />http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/staiv.htm<br />http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/<br />http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/<br />http://www.alfiekohn.org/<br />
  8. 8. Researching Authors and Publishers<br />Google<br />Google Scholar<br />Google Books<br />Google Blogs<br />Library of Congress<br />Library Databases<br />
  9. 9. Assessing Credibility<br />Based on information about the publisher, does this site seem to be credible? Why or why not?<br />
  10. 10. Finding the author<br />Check the top and bottom of the page and article. You may also need to check sidebars, captions, pull quotes, or introductions.<br />If there is no name, is there an email address?<br />Are the author’s qualifications listed?<br />If not, or if the article is self-published, how can you confirm the author’s qualifications? <br />
  11. 11. Researching Authors and Publishers<br />Google<br />Google Scholar<br />Google Books<br />Google Blogs<br />Library of Congress<br />Library Databases<br />
  12. 12. Assessing Credibility<br />Is the author qualified to write on this topic? Why or why not?<br />
  13. 13. Currency<br />Is the information up-to-date?<br />Does it matter? Why or why not?<br />
  14. 14. Documentation<br />Focus on sources that provide references to help you evaluate the source and its arguments.<br />What kinds of sources are listed? (newspapers, academic articles or books, blogs, polls, …)<br />If links to online sources are broken or if sources are provided without links, how can you look up those sources?<br />What other ways can you verify the evidence presented?<br />Which sources listed might be useful for your project?<br />
  15. 15. Determining Bias and Point-of View<br />Is the language/argumentation emotional or logical? <br />Does the author overgeneralize or simplify the issues?<br />If the piece presents an opinion/argument, does it offer good reasons and solid evidence to support it?<br />Does the author present more than one view? <br />Are different views presented in balanced fashion, or does the text support one side more than the other?<br />If the text argues for one side, how does it represent differing points of view?<br />
  16. 16. Assessing Credibility<br />Does the information seem reliable? Why or why not?<br />Is the information useful for your purposes? Why or why not?<br />
  17. 17. Research the site further<br />Alexa.com collects information on web usage<br />Blogsearch.google.com searches blogs that may link to the site<br />Search on Google for “link:” and the URL to find additional pages that may link to the site<br />
  18. 18. Determining Purpose<br />What do you see as the primary purpose of the site?<br />What evidence supports your view? <br />
  19. 19. Overall Evaluation<br />What can you prove with this site?<br />Is this site useful for your purpose?<br />If not, what kinds of sources might provide more useful information?<br />
  20. 20. Objectives<br />Learn to evaluate the validity and accuracy of information found online<br />Learn how to determine the purpose of a web page and if online information is still current or relevant<br />Develop skills for assessing bias<br />

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