Digital Website Evaluation

Sign displaying
Sign displaying “At Your Own Risk”

AT YOUR OWN RISK” by MOTOI Kenkichi is licensed under CC by 2.0

As a School Library Media Specialist, I have had many chances to personally evaluate Websites and information as well as instruct elementary children on the process and technique of doing so. Yet, every single time I have an assignment, as the one we had to complete in class, I find myself getting “tripped up”. It never seeks to amaze me how all website information can be twisted to seem as if it credible.  Paying attention to Domains is critical when evaluating information on the Web. I would have to say that the most important factor when evaluating Web sites is your needs. What are you using the Web for? Entertainment? Academic work? Hobbies or avocational interests? Scholarly sources are traditionally very strongly text-based.

The following 5 Criteria are a must when one finds themselves having to evaluate and justify if information is credible:

  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Currency
  • Objectivity
  • Coverage

Evaluating Information and what to look closely at are:

  • Authorship
  • Publishing body
  • Point of view or bias
  • Referral to other sources
  • Verifiability
  • Currency
  • How to distinguish propaganda, misinformation and disinformation
  • The mechanics of determining authorship, publishing body, and currency on the Internet
  • Some good questions to ask yourself during the evaluation process:
  • What can the URL tell you?
  • Who wrote the page? Is he, she, or the authoring institution a qualified authority?
  • Is it dated? Current, timely?
  • Is information cited authentic?
  • Does the page have overall integrity and reliability as a source?
  • What’s the bias?
  • Could the page or site be ironic, like a satire or a spoof?
  • If you have questions or reservations, how can you satisfy them?

Watch Evaluating Websites Videos

For a funny acronynm song about evaluting websites watch

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