Criteria for Evaluation by Larry Johnson and Annette Lamb
Students need to learn to evaluate the quality of information they find on the web as well as other information resources such as books, magazines, CD-ROM, and television. Ask students to be skeptical of everything they find. Encourage them to compare and contrast different information resources. Consider the following ideas:
Who says? Know the author.
■Who created this information and why?
■Do you recognize this author or their work?
■What knowledge or skills do they have in the area?
■Is he or she stating fact or opinion?
■What else has this author written?
■Does the author acknowledge other viewpoints and theories?
Is the information biased? Think about perspective.
■Is the information objective or subjective?
■Is it full of fact or opinion?
■Does it reflect bias? How?
■How does the sponsorship impact the perspective of the information?
■Are a balance of perspectives represented?
■Could the information be meant as humorous, a parody, or satire?
Is the information authentic? Know the source.
■Where does the information originate?
■Is the information from an established organization?
■Has the information been reviewed by others to insure accuracy?
■Is this a primary source or secondary source of information?
■Are original sources clear and documented?
■Is a bibliography provided citing the sources used?
Is this information accurate? Consider the origin of the information.
■Are the sources truth worthy? How do you know?
■Who is sponsoring this publication?
■Does the information come from a school, business, or company site?
■What's the purpose of the information resource: to inform, instruct, persuade, sell? Does this matter?
■What's their motive?
Is the information current? Consider the currency and timeliness of the information.
■Does the page provide information about timeliness such as specific dates of information?
■Does currency of information matter with your particular topic?
■How current are the sources or links?
Is the information helpful? Think about whether you need this information.
■Does the information contain the breadth and depth needed?
■Is the information written in a form that is useable (i.e. reading level, technical level)?
■Is the information in a form that is useful such as words, pictures, charts, sounds, or video?
■Do the facts contribute something new or add to your knowledge of the subject?
■Will this information be useful to your project?
Is this information worth the effort? Think about the organization and speed of information access.
■Is the information well-organized including a table of contents, index, menu, and other easy-to-follow tools for navigation?
■Is the information presented in a way that is easy to use (i.e., fonts, graphics, headings)?
■Is the information quick to access?