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SCAILAB Web Site Evaluation

Welcome to SCAILAB's web evaluation online worksheet. The purpose of this page is to help you learn to search for and evaluate sources of information on the World Wide Web. The questions encourage you to think critically about search engines and Web sites you are considering while providing you with helpful information to guide your use of the the Web as a research tool.

Critical reading of texts is particularly important when one moves beyond the parameters of print media. The cliche holds true that the Internet is rapidly and constantly evolving, and what you find on-line one day may not be what you find the next. Because anyone can post anything on the Internet, even the most professional-looking factual Web site may reflect a biased agenda or may contain material not based in fact at all. Thus, when drawing material from the Web, it is necessary to be particularly vigilant in examining the information and its presentation.

The next section of this page presents a series of questions that you may find helpful in evaluating Web sources. It includes pop-up windows that explain the questions more fully. A version with detailed explanations and examples is also available, as well as a Word document version, which allows users to type directly into the document in a format that can be saved or printed easily.

Some other helpful sites on how to conduct and evaluate Web searches

How to Use the Form:

Choose a topic that you are interested in finding information about and answer the following questions.

As you go through the worksheet, click on the buttons for more information. Another window will appear that will provide you with further insight into each of the questions that you are being asked to answer in the blank text boxes.

Finally, when you are finished working, you can get a copy of the information by printing directly from the webpage.

Conduct a keyword search on one of these search engines:

www.metacrawler.com | www.iwon.com | www.dogpile.com
www.altavista.com | www.infoseek.com | www.goto.com
www.yahoo.com | www.excite.com | www.webcrawler.com
www.hotbot.com | www.LookSmart.com | www.search.com
www.lycos.com | www.google.com | www.search.aol.com

Complete the following evaluation checklist for one of the sites that you found.


I. Address of Web site (cut & paste!):

Example: http://cla.calpoly.edu/~bmori/syll/Hum310japan/Moriritual.html

What makes the author qualified to provide information on this topic?

Based on your answers from above:

Please explain your answer:


II. SOURCE:

Is it commercial, governmental, educational, or organizational? Who owns the site?

Based on your answers to the above questions,


III. CONCLUSION

Based on your answers in the above three sections and your evaluation of this Web site, please answer the following questions:

1. Does this site provide accurate, reliable, and updated information on your topic? Please explain your answer.

2. Would you recommend this site to one of your classmates? Please explain what you believe are the pros and cons of the site. If your evaluation is overwhelmingly negative, what led you originally to choose to evaluate this Web site, rather than another, better one?

 



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