Teaching the
Participation in Government Unit

Evaluating Web Sites

Competencies Addressed

  1. Student uses criteria to choose sources

Web Site Evaluation Lesson Overview

The Internet can point to varied and excellent information. However, one must carefully evaluate this information’s accuracy, authority, currency, and objectivity. Students need to look critically at the sites they choose for information.

During the course of these lessons students will learn what make a web site a viable source of information by learning how to evaluate sites with regard to specific attributes.

  1. The librarian will review with the students the domain extensions that are commonly found when searching the Internet.
  2. There are many ways to evaluate web sites and many mnemonics for remembering the criteria that needs to be evaluated. For the purpose of this unit the discussion will focus on Authority, Accuracy, Currency and Objectivity.
  3. There are many hoax sites on the Internet and it is interesting to look at them with students to show them not everything is true
    1. Hoax sites - Dr. Mary Ann Bell (Sam Houston University)
    2. Gallery of Hoax Web Sites - may have some dead links, but a very comprehensive listing.
  4. There are times that a web site looks very real, but one must look deeper. Engage students in a discussion of the two Martin Luther King sites
    1. Martin Luther King - a True Historical Experience
    2. The King Center
    3. For a very good tutorial on these two topics, see Widener College Library's discussion. The comparison of the two web site is about halfway through the presentation.
  5. Using the Supreme Court decision, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, and the idea of affirmative action, the students should evaluate these web sites according to the criteria listed above. They should fill out the How Does this Web Site Measure Up? for each site. Asses this assignment for accuracy and completeness.
    1. United for Equality & Affirmative Action
    2. The Alan Bakke Case
    3. The Commission, Affirmative Action


Resources for teaching this lesson: