Evaluating Online Resources

Recently, I have been delving even deeper into the unpacking and deconstructing of CCSS while checking alignment and realignment of various resources.  One theme I am noticing is the increasing use of technology and finding reliable and authoritative resources.  Having been a high school English teacher, I know how students search:  1)  open Google, 2)  put in keywords (typically antiquated search patterns like “How to change car oil?”  or  “Chevy and oil”), 3)  click on the first source that shows up (complete disregard for the URL), 4)  find a sentence that sounds good, and 5) copy said sentence into paper/research notes/speech/etc.

While the new assessments push for increased synthesis of many authoritative sources into a single document with consistent flow of thoughts, I know my students’ research processes would fall short of meeting the increased demands and expectations.  I was still battling the “go beyond Wikipedia” argument in my last round of essays with students.

Students need direction when evaluating for authority and credibility in online resources.  Edsitement’s “Tips for Better Browsing” could be used to guide students in their thinking about potential research sources.

Related posts:

From the Media Awareness Network, this lesson guides students through a mini-research project to evaluate source credibility.  (Reviewed through the ORC)

This New York Times lesson leads students through the process of critically evaluating online resources.  (Reviewed through the ORC)

Research Papers in the Digital Age

Rachel Levy’s post on Research Papers vs. Blogs @ All Things Education

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