Jaden and Jerah are currently working on research papers about abortion. While I much prefer books for research, since they need to collect current information about laws and statistics, their best resource is the internet. That means that they need to learn how to evaluate the credibility of a website to determine whether or not they should use it as a source.
After a little online research myself, I discovered several sites that offer information and checklists to help students evaluate online sources.
- "Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask" by UC Berkely. This is a rather lengthy article, but it's well-organized. This is the article I discussed with my kids.
- "Five criteria for evaluating Web pages" by Cornell University. This is a much shorter article, so it might be a good place to start for a quick lesson.
- "Testing the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet Information Resources" by Alastair Smith of Victoria University of Wellington. This article has a lot of explanatory material to wade through, but there are some useful points.
Remind your students that a research paper is only as good as it's resources. Evaluating a websites credibility can week out the ones that are not based on truth but are subjective and biased.