Students rely on the Internet and websites more for information in research than any other source. However, can they know that what they find on the Internet is reliable? Teaching and practicing information literacy requires that we not only teach students how to find information but also how to critically analyze its validity. This is where a tool like the website evaluation wizard can come in handy.
This tool, at first looks like a self-running model, but don’t be fooled. What the evaluation wizard does is a simply guide the student through the website evaluation process. Have them cut and paste the URL of the site they wish to analyze into the wizard then click on each of the criteria on the left hand toolbar. Each criterion opens a dialogue box with guiding questions that students answer to determine the validity of the information they have found:
While this evaluation wizard is not all-inclusive – students will still need to make their own judgments about the website’s validity and accuracy on their own – it does provide a good basis to begin analysis. Students will be able to print out their “reports” and evaluation and should use this wizard to show a critical analysis of their web sources at least once through their research process.