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Evaluating Websites

When students utilise websites, a process of evaluation of that website content is required to ascertain the value of continuing with the information presented. A number of questions can be proposed to assist the decision process or to recommence your search process.

Authority: Who is the author/creator and what are their credentials? Are they knowledgeable of the topic? Do they have expertise in the area? Are they contactable, reputable and reliable?

Purpose: Is the information relevant to your task? Is the information trying to advocate or inform? What does the URL tell you about the site?

Objectivity: Is the information advertising, fact or opinion with balanced bias? Are references cited? What literary techniques are being utilised?

Accuracy: Is the information verifiable by other sources and credible references? Is the information accurately presented, logically written and without mistakes? Do any links work?

Currency: How recent is the information? Will it be current enough for your task? When was it last updated?

Asking some of these questions each time a website is utilised can assist students in valuing the information they use and ensuring they are critical consumers of information.