Why evaluate websites?
Anyone can publish something on the web, and anyone on the Internet can say they are an expert. Putting documents or pages on the web is easy, cheap or free and unregulated. Unlike printed publications there are no editors. Many websites can be deliberately misleading, hoax’s even. Students now need skills to determine authenticity and authority of information available to them on the web.
According to Herring (2010 ,p. 36) teachers and teacher librarians need to be experts in evaluating web based resources and that effective website evaluation should be a core competency for teachers and TL’s. Herring also maintains that teachers & TL’s have a “professional and ethical responsibility to use the best available information” (2010, p. 37). Effective evaluation ensures that the websites used are” fit for purpose and enhance teaching and learning”.
There are many sets of website evaluation criteria … some suit the needs of teachers, some are more useful for students. TL’s can advise teachers of the best criteria to use:
- Schrock (5 W’s)
- University of QLD Library (or others)
- Herring (E,R & T)
Herring, J. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet.
Schrock, K. (2002). The ABC’s of website evaluation Classroom. In Classroom connect. Retrieved from http://kathyschrock.net/eval/pubs/weval.pdf 10/8/2012