Monday, November 03, 2003

Teaching Source Evaluation and Research Skills

Before the Internet and World Wide Web information explosion, most teachers did not spend time teaching students to evaluate sources. Research projects sent students to the library, where it was assumed that sources would be valid. So an essential skill was never taught. But now it needs to be taught.

Fortunately, there are several good WWW sites to help teach those skills. All these sites apply criteria drawn from the types of questions librarians ask when deciding whether a book or other print source will be a good resource to have in the library.

The Bedford Researcher Book Companion Site: offers a research log where students and instructors can create accounts online. Students can start research projects, take notes, build a bibliography, and complete source evaluations. See also the tutorial on evaluating a WWW site at

Evaluating Web Resources : by Janet Alexander and Marcia Tate. This site organizes questions to ask about sites by site type -- informational, advertising, and so on.

Evaluating a Site: interactive forms students can complete and then print out and bring in as part of their homework.

Yahooligans' Teaching Internet Literacy: offers both a tutorial for teachers and activities for students.

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