Designed by Tera McFarland
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Evaluating Internet Sources
Internet sources must be evaluated to assure their authenticity and relevance because Web sites and pages do not go through the intensive editing processes that traditional print and visual resources do.
Therefore, YOU, the user, must learn to assess the validity of the sources you use in your research.
Don’t be fooled into believing that just because it’s on the Internet, it’s true. In essence, don’t believe everything that you read!
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Your task is to work together and agree on which of the Internet sources in your assigned sets (One, Two, Three or Four) are the best and which are the worst. Your decision will reflect the consensus of your group's looking at these Internet sources with certain evaluation criteria in mind.
1. Your instructor will divide you into groups. Each of you in the group will be assigned one of the following roles:
The Authority Expert (Check out the author or organization.)
The Content Accuracy and Coverage Specialist(Is the information correct, thorough, and appropriate?)
The Bias Buster (Be on the lookout for objectivity and prejudice.)
The Currency Crasher (Is timeliness an issue? Is the site up to date?)
The Usability Pro (How user friendly is the source?)
(The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)
Use your back button when perusing the above link.
(Trash or Treasure?)
2. Each of you should look at the following items quietly from your single perspective.
Example Sets One, Two, Three, and Four will be assigned to different groups. Write down what you like and don't like about each one from that perspective. Make notes that are sufficiently detailed so that you can explain your position when you get together with the others in your group. Include at least five specific aspects of constructive criticism for each example. Write the name of each site as well as your observations. Include a final consensus statement. Include the names of each person in your group.
Your instructor will keep track so that everyone will finish at the same time.
3. Now work with your group. Share your opinions about each. Your task is to arrive at consensus that takes each perspective into account. Be prepared to present your findings to the class in an informal class discussion.
You will receive a group grade for this exercise. Make sure that you collaborate and include everyone in your discussion and evaluation.
Now the next time you need to do research for a class or for your own interest, you will be able to distinguish a credible web site from a poorly constructed or unacceptable one. For more information on Internet resources please visit the following links.
Comparing and Evaluating Web Information Sources http://www.fno.org/jun97/eval.html
Four Nets For Better Searching http://webquest.sdsu.edu/searching/fournets.htm
Online Research for High School and College Students http://www.onlineschools.org/resources/online-research-for-students/
More Sites to Use for Demonstrating Critical Evaluation
Credits & References
A special thank you to Susan Beck for granting her permission for the use of
her website, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Another special thanks to Jon Landis, Wendy Jones, Timothy Joyce, Beth Miller, and Sarah Di lorio for all of their help.
We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission is hereby granted for other educators to copy this WebQuest, update or otherwise modify it, and post it elsewhere provided that the original author's name is retained along with a link back to the original URL of this WebQuest. On the line after the original author's name, you may add Modified by (your name) on (date). If you do modify it, please let me know and provide the new URL.
Last updated 06/18/2008. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page