Why Learn How to Evaluate Web Sites?
Evaluating Web Sites is an increasingly important skill for users
of the Internet.
--enormously rich resources are available
--misleading, factually incorrect, intellectually suspect, downright
scary sources are available as well.
--The Internet is like the world's biggest archive combined with the
world's biggest scrap heap.
Therefore, it is critical that users learn how to distinguish credible
information from information trash.
How is the Internet different from a library?
--There is LOTS more information available on the Internet than in any
--The information is not comprehensively catalogued, although there
are directory services that try
--The information is not pre-screened for anybody's collection (which
can be both a pro and a con)
--There are relatively few barriers to entry (which can be both a pro
and a con)
How Do you Begin Evaluating Sources?
--There are five widely accepted criteria :
E. Beck's web site on Evaluation from New Mexico State University
How Do You Teach Evaluation Skills to Students?
--Take time to discuss the issue
--show students examples of poor information on the web masking as good
--be a stickler for complete information about websites from students
(a url is not enough!)
--craft Internet assignments that teach students to think critically
about their sources.
See Susan E.
Beck's Suggestions for Successful Internet Assignments
Other useful web evaluation sites (a few from MANY that are available)
Site Evaluation: George Pilling's presentation from Computer Using Educators'
Mr. Pilling is the Supervisor of Library Media Services, Visalia Unified
His web page is a compilation of web evaluation resources. Some of his
references are better
Teaching undergrads WEB Evaluation: by Jim Kapoun, reference and
instruction librarian at
Southwest State University (MI). Mr. Kapoun's version covers the five
criteria in a handy table format.
for a News Web Page: compiled by J. Alexander and M. Tate, Wolfgram
Widener University, Chester, PA. Same criteria, different way of asking
Materials on the Internet: Karl E. Mundt Library, Dakota State University,
Succinctly presens the problem with searching the Internet and proposed
the "suspicious" approach
to searching. "Making a first pass at evaluating a web page"
is followed by the familiar five criteria.
Next!! Search Engines, Web Directories and Boolean Inquiries:
How the Heck Do I Find What I Want On the Internet?
TuesdayDecember 4 3:30-4:30 in the Upper School Mac Lab