TCN 298: Technology Capstone

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Evaluating Web Sites

The Web is a tremendous source of huge volumes of information but also a channel for self-serving, misguided, or simply inaccurate drivel. Here are several dimensions (in alphabetical order) along which to evaluate a web page or other source of information to help you consume the Internet wisely:

How current is the information? (Consider both how long since the page was posted and how old information was at the time of posting.) How quickly does this information change? Are there outdated links?

Is the page all flash and no substance? Is there a design that supports and reinforces the content?

Is the page presented to promote a cause or market a product? (It may be valid info nonetheless, but beware.)

What is the source of the information presented? Is that source clearly documented? Are alternative sources included or mentioned?

How close is the page to what you are looking for? Do you need to read between the lines?

Who has written the page and who presents it? (This is related to purpose.) What is the URL? (Components of that give hints as to the nature of the author.) Is the author someone likely to have an understanding of the material appropriate to what you are looking for? Is the author clearly identified?

There are some great resources, much from university libraries, on evaluating web sites. Here’s a few:"> An oldie, but goodie, from Canisius College, has been updated a bit from when I first offered it to students in 2000."> Another old favorite, this one from Cornell, includes several links to other resources."> The University of Maryland library provides this interactive checklist.

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Anthony G Benoit
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