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Evaluating Web Sites

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Criteria for the Classroom Trying to sort out the gems from the junk on the Internet?
Teachers and students may use the following criteria to select web sites for their academic work. Faculty developing course syllabi may link to Faculty Checklist for Evaluating Information for more details.

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Criteria for Evaluating Web Resources
Purpose Currency Responsibility Clarity Accessibility

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Authority Objectivity Appropriateness

Examples below represent particularly good or especially bad web sites for the criterion in question. Can you tell which is which?

NANODOCS What is the purpose of the site or page? Look for tips in graphics and text. Web pages may be...

commercial informative educational entertaining

persuasive personal institutional a hoax (see below)

What does the URL (Web address) say about the producer of the web site, and its purpose? Look at the final syllable in the domain name. The first three sites below are all "White House" sites. Which is the official White House site? How can you tell? Note that all three sites are easily accessible in a web search for "White House". .gov .net Government agency: Internet Service Provider:

Commercial site (Note: is a pornographic site. Go there at your .com own risk.) .edu .mil ~ .org Higher education - Other educational sites may appear with different domain names: Military site- ("tilde") Personal site - Organization; may be charitable, religious, or a lobbying group - Country names appear as a two-letter abbreviation in the domain name. For a complete list, go to Domain Name Registries around the World. New domain names include .museum, .info and .biz, among others. Read more about them at InterNic FAQ on Domain Names.

Growing herbs in the home garden Who is the author? What are his credentials? Does he have sufficient authority to speak on the subject? Is there any way to reach him? Is there an organizational or corporate sponsor? Is this page authentic, or is it a hoax? Is there a reference list?


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you may have to drill down through several layers to find "About" or "Contact Us" http://www. others are harmful. well-written? Is the content relevant to your topic or question? Currency CNN Is the information on the page up-to-date? Can you tell when the page was last updated? Are there dead links? Is there a difference between the date the information was created and the date the page was last updated? Responsibility Pregnant women can drink safely in moderation Are the authors up-front about their purpose and content? Is there a way to contact the authors? Do the authors give credit for information used? Is there a reference list? Clarity A New Beginning for Life Is the information clearly presented? Is the text http://www. Some of the examples below are harmless and entertaining.226.Evaluating Web Sites http://www.gatt. 1960-98 Does the content reflect a bias? Is the bias explicit or hidden? Does the identity of the author or sponsor suggest a bias? How does the bias impact the usefulness of the information? Appropriateness & Relevance Women and Aids Is the content appropriate for your classroom or your assignment? Is the reading level appropriate for your students? Is the content appropriate for the age or developmental level of your students? Is the content World Trade Organization http://www. All could give misinformation to the unaware Martin Luther King martinlutherking. even hateful.wto. legible and formatted for easy reading? If there are http://147.html Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians. do they interfere with your ability to use the page? Are the pages well organized? Are there mistakes in spelling or word usage? Accessibility MSNBC Can you get in? Does the site load quickly? Can you move around the site easily? Is the site or page still there next time? Is there a text-only alternative for the visually-impaired? Hoaxes! Hoaxes present a major challenge for evaluating information found on the The Onion Women and Aids http://www. To verify the authenticity of the site.htm 2 de 3 10/10/2011 11:17 p. complete. Here are several examples to test your Evaluation IQ.lesley. . do they add to the content or distract? If there are advertisements.

edu/library/guides/research/evaluating_web. September). Susan E. 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://school. Tilman. Paul S. KS: The MASTER Teacher. The Bad and The Ugly.infotoday. Cambridge. Better read that again: Web hoaxes and 2001. Hope N. 8 (8). May 30). Searcher. Evaluating Quality on the Net. July 7). 29 Everett St. Inc. 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www. Mail your comments & questions. (1997). Institute for Technology-Assisted Learning. 3 de 3 10/10/2011 11:17 p. New Mexico State University. 2000. from the World Wide Web: http://www. The Good. Retrieved September 12. Retrieved July /instruction/eval. (2000. from the World Wide Web: http://lib. Kathleen. Piper. MA 02138 ©2011. Announcement retrieved September 12.m. All rights reserved. Lesley University. Schrock. or Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources.nmsu. ( /searcher/sep00/piper. Retrieved September 12. Evaluating Internet Web Sites: An Educator's Guide. Back to Research Guides updated 12/03/07 | 11:13 am home about academics admissions events news search Lesley University.html. Disclaimer.hopetillman.html Top Read All About It! Beck.lesley. (2000. Manhattan.html.Evaluating Web Sites http://www.