Unit 1, Learning Why We Evaluate Websites

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At the end of Unit 1, you will understand the importance of website evaluation.

The Purpose?

So, you've heard all the talk about evaluating websites. You have used the internet countless times for research and never had a problem, so why bother taking this course? Think about it. Write down all the reasons you can think of that could be the purpose for someone to put up a website. Write down legitimate reasons as well as manipulative ones.

The Reason Why

At one time websites seemed to be for big business, trustworthy medical information, or scholarly documents, now there are no rules about creating websites. Not only are there no rules for creating websites, but the layman is becoming extremely technically savvy and it is now impossible to tell which are professionally created or developed by a creative individual. There are a series of criteria that have been developed to help us evaluate these webpages for reliability. This course is going to review that criteria with you.

Test Your Knowledge

Take a minute and Google a subject. Browse through the first 5 links that come up.

Just from your first glance, do you get a feel for which ones you would consider good? Good meaning that you would use it as a reference for a research paper.

Think about why you chose the answers you did.

The Truth

As an educated individual, you probably have a gut feeling regarding the validity of a website. Many times you will be right, but now those who are developing hoax websites are now adding in the criteria the trained eye is looking for. It is getting much more difficult to distinguish between those sites that are valid, realiable resources and those that are developed for an alterior motive.


Go back to those 5 websites again.

Look a little more carefully and really make a decision, would you recommend these sites to your teacher? Why or why not?

Write down your feelings about the topic; anything you are unsure about, anything you know for sure.

When you are finished proceed to Unit 2, Identifying Hoax Websites.