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Evaluating Online Content. Information Literacy Quiz . Anyone can create a website!. What does this mean for you? Be cautious and skeptical of the information you have found on personal websites. Always evaluate the content as well as the background of the website’s author.
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Evaluating Online Content Information Literacy Quiz
Anyone can create a website! • What does this mean for you? • Be cautious and skeptical of the information you have found on personal websites. • Always evaluate the content as well as the background of the website’s author. • Be specific in your searches, there are millions of sites and you want your results to be as precise as possible.
You have your results, now what? • Evaluate the content of the site • M A P • Meta-Web Information – the structure of information on the Internet, including URLs, links, and search engines • Author – anyone can post information on the Internet; credentials, such as professor or doctor, should not be accepted without evaluation. • Purpose – most sites sell products or services, advocate ideas, entertain, and/or present information
Meta-Web Information • How did you find the site? • What kind of links does the site contain? • How do you know what site you are looking at? • Look at the URL (Uniform Resource Locator), the web site’s "address."
Types of Internet Sites • Advocacy - An Advocacy Web Page is one sponsored by an organization attempting to influence public opinion (that is, one trying to sell ideas). The URL Address of the page frequently ends in .org (organization). Examples: National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, The National Right to Life Committee, the Democratic Party, The Republican Party.* • Marketing/Business - A Business/Marketing Web Page is one sponsored by a commercial enterprise (usually it is a page trying to promote or sell products). The URL address of the page frequently ends in .com (commercial). Examples: Adobe Systems, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and numerous other large and small companies using the Web for business purposes.* • Informational - An Informational Web page is one whose purpose is to present factual information. Educational institutions or government agencies often sponsor these pages. The URL address frequently ends in .edu, .org, .gov. Examples: dictionaries, thesauri, directories, transportation schedules, calendars of events, statistical data, and other factual information such as reports, presentations of research, or information about a topic.* • News - A News Web page is one whose primary purpose is to provide extremely current information. The URL address of the page usually ends in .com (Commercial). Examples: USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer,CNN.*
Types of Internet Sites • Personal - A Personal Home Page is one published by an individual who may or may not be affiliated with a larger institution. Although the URL address of the page may have a variety of endings (e.g. .com, .edu., etc), a tilde (~) is frequently embedded somewhere in the URL.* Examples: Irish History on the Web, Harvard Department of the Classics, Children's Literature Web Guide • Entertainment - An Entertainment Web page is one with the primary purpose of providing enjoyment to its users by means of humor, games, music, drama or other similar types of activities. The URL address of the page may have a variety of endings depending on who is supplying the entertainment. Examples: Genway, Smithsonian's "Revealing Things", Parody of the White House.* • Advertisements/webfomercials - This is a group of web sites that are supported by advertisements. This frequently takes the form of a banner or a hyperlink. A webfomercial is comparable to a television infomercial. Serious conflicts of interest can arise between the self-interests of advertisers and sponsors and the objectivity of the information provided on a Web page. Examples: The Ad Council * • Discussion groups - This group usually includes discussion groups, chat rooms and listservs. The primary purpose is to provide conversations and individual opinions. Examples: Yahoo! Chat, Veteran Network Chat & ClubRooms, Google Discussion Forums, SerialST Listserv
Author • Is the Author listed anywhere? • When was the site created? • When was the site last updated? • What are the credentials of the Author? Can they be evaluated?
Purpose • Is this site for informational purposes? • Is this site meant to entertain? • Is this site trying to sell me something? • Martin Luther King, Jr. • Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus • Alan November’s List
Tools of Investigation The Wayback Machine: www.archive.org allows you to browse through 30 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To use this site type in the URL of a site or page of which you would like to research, and click the Take Me Back button. Once you have conducted your search, select from the archived dates available.
Tools of Investigation To find the external links, conduct this search in Alta Vista with the link: command. Go to Alta Vista www.altavista.com, type link: in the search box and then add the URL of the site you would like research. Be sure to leave no space before or after the colon. Click the Find button.
Resources • Internet Literacy • Alan November • Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask • Kathy Schrock’s Critical Evaluation • 5 Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages