Global Schoolhouse Home Home Base: Harnessing the Power of the WebIntro to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based LearningBuilding Collaborative Student Web ProjectsGuide to Conducting Research on the InternetLibrary of References, Readings and ResourcesTable of Contents
Introduction to Searching the Internet
Information Resources
Human Resources
Digital Resources
Finding Digital Resources
Evaluating Internet Resources
Organizing Your Research
Topic-Oriented Research Directories
Search Engines
Primary Document Resources
1. Problems to Look For
2. Sample Evaluation Tools
3. Goals-based Evaluation

1. Evaluation Problems to Look For

Side Bar

I never guess.  It is a shocking habit-- destructive to the logical faculty.

Sherlock Holmes
The Sign of Four

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There are four major considerations in evaluating Internet resources:

bullet.gif (931 bytes)Reliability

bullet.gif (931 bytes)Credibility

bullet.gif (931 bytes)Perspective
& purpose

Reliability of information on the Internet refers most often to time issues. Is the information up to date? Will it remain up to date for the duration of the information product you or your students are producing? If information is time sensitive, then the author should include a date published and/or a date last revised. If this information is not provided and the information is worthy of further investigation, you can look for contact information on the author and use e-mail to seek these dates directly from the author.

Credibility refers more to the origins of the information. Does the author and/or the publishing organization have the authority to present the information? There should be information about the author or links to a web page that presents his or her credentials. Along with these credentials should be links to other documents that have been published by the author. This should be examined as well for consistency. Also look for information about the publisher, the organization that is making the information available. This might be a university, research center, government agency, or a corporation. Make sure that the organization has an interest in providing the best information to consumers.

Perspective & purpose refers to bias. What does the author or publishing organization have to gain by publishing this information? Is there a reason why they would want to present it in a particular way or from a certain angle? Are they selling a product? Are they supporting a specific political agenda? Do they have an axe to grind? Once again, look at the information that is available about the author and the organization. Look at other information that has been published by them. If they have a mission statement, read it and apply its principles to yours and to the information under consideration. Compare the information with similar documents published by other organizations and authors. Make sure that it is the best information for your purposes.

Section: Evaluating Internet Resources
Page 1: Problems to Look For
Page 2: Sample Evaluation Tools
Page 3: Goals-based Evaluation

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