I have been looking a texts about on-line teaching. I thought that the following was really useful. Especially for module two-ers and three-ers. It is important you don't just use information you happen to come across when you google a subject. Researching into things is not just about finding something someone has written on it. It is about evaluating what things mean in terms of what you already know (and who you respect who also knows about it) with what you want to know more about. Don't let Google determine what you know; allowing your information on a subject to be whatever comes highest in a search! So here are some questions to ask yourself:
Authority. Who says? Know the author.
- Who created this information and why?
- Do you recognize this author or their work?
- What knowledge or skills do they have in the area?
- Is he or she stating fact or opinion?
- What else has this author written?
- Does the author acknowledge other viewpoints and theories?
Objectivity. Is the information biased? Think about perspective.
- Is the information objective or subjective?
- Is it full of fact or opinion?
- Does it reflect bias? How?
- How does the sponsorship impact the perspective of the information?
- Are a balance of perspectives represented?
- Could the information be meant as humorous, a parody, or satire?
Authenticity. Is the information authentic? Know the source.
- Where does the information originate?
- Is the information from an established organization?
- Has the information been reviewed by others to insure accuracy?
- Is this a primary source or secondary source of information?
- Are original sources clear and documented?
- Is a bibliography provided citing the sources used?
Reliability. Is this information accurate? Consider the origin of the information.
- Are the sources truth worthy? How do you know?
- Who is sponsoring this publication?
- Does the information come from a school, business, or company site?
- What's the purpose of the information resource: to inform, instruct, persuade, sell? Does this matter?
- What's their motive?
Timeliness. Is the information current? Consider the currency and timeliness of the information.
- Does the page provide information about timeliness such as specific dates of information?
- Does currency of information matter with your particular topic?
- How current are the sources or links?
Relevance. Is the information helpful? Think about whether you need this information.
- Does the information contain the breadth and depth needed?
- Is the information written in a form that is useable (i.e. reading level, technical level)?
- Is the information in a form that is useful such as words, pictures, charts, sounds, or video?
- Do the facts contribute something new or add to your knowledge of the subject?
- Will this information be useful to your project?