Saturday, September 18, 2010

Student Research – Evaluate Sources

Evaluate Your Sources image

When doing research with students it is good to provide them with a set of topics to evaluate a source such as a website.  There are many different lists of criteria that are available on the internet.  Here is one I’ve created from a few difference sources.

  1. Relevance – Is this the information that you need?  Is the information on the site what you needed to know.
  2. Currency – How updated is the information?  Can you find a date?
  3. Authority – Do you trust the author(s)?  Who owns that domain name?  For example, look for websites that end in “.edu”, “.gov” or “.org” as these are  typically publically funded rather than .com extensions which are commercial sites.
  4. Bias – For topics that have a wide-variety of opinions such as sport, politics, what is the viewpoint of the source?
  5. Accessibility – Is the reading level appropriate?
  6. Special features – Are there pictures, animation, videos?  Is the site free of distractions?

More resources:

Lesley University – Evaluating Websites

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educator – Critical Evaluation Information

Criteria for Web Site Evaluation – I like how this presentation has students use the Who, What, When, Where and Why?
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