This project is designed to explore a set of skills that will allow you to effectively evaluate Internet Web resources. Considering the number of Web resources available to students and the wide range of quality, it is important to learn to evaluate resource materials carefully.

Step 1: Complete the vocabulary worksheet , use or to research your definitions. Remember you are considering definitions as they relate to web resource evaluation.
Step 2: Participate in the class discussion as we review the meaning of the criteria that we will be using to evaluate the websites.

Step 3: Evaluate Five (5) web sites. Mr. Lessig may have your group work in groups of 3 to 5 or you may be working independently. Choose five (5) of the following web sites.

Americans for Non-Smokers Rights
R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Free Initative
Forces International
Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Nicotine Addiction
Save the Children

Step 4:
  • Group project: Your group will be responsible for looking at Five (5) web sites concerning smoking and tobacco from the Four (4) different "Evaluating Web Sites" perspectives (criteria). Each group will have one student on the computer accessing the websites and one student acting as a scribe recording the groups answers to the criteria questions. Strengths and Weaknesses, the answers to the criteria questions will be recorded on the "Evaluation Worksheet". After all 5 websites have been reviewed and the questions answered then the group should rank them with a score of 1 to 5. 1 being the best and 5 the worst. After ranking them the group should then defend their first choice in narrative form (4 sentences) regarding why they chose the website as the best for that criteria. For example, "Our group chose the World Health Organization website as the best for content because it covered the topic of smoking comprehensively." After all four criteria area worksheets are completed the class will discuss the various groups impressions.To finish the project students will be divided into groups of two and each student will complete a Glogster to present their reflections of the importance of evaluating websites.

    Evaluation Criteria

1.) Content Criteria:
  • Does the site cover the topic comprehensively? Accurately?
  • Can you understand what is being said? Is it written above or below your level of understanding?
  • Currency: Can you tell the date the information was created? the publication date? the date the material was last revise? Are these dates meaningful in terms of the subject matter?
  • Would you get better information in a book an encyclopedia?
  • Are the links well-chosen? Sufficient?
2.) Authority/Credibility Criteria:
  • Who is responsible for this site? Who sponsors it? Hint: truncate each section of the URL back until you are able to find the sponsor.
  • What are his/her credentials?
  • Have the authors of the site cited their own sources?
  • What is the domain name? Does it end in .com, .gov, .edu? Is that a meaningful clue in evaluating the site? (You can't always judge a web page by its suffix. Some commercial sites provide solid information. Some university sites offer less-than serious personal pages to graduate students.)
  • Who else links to the site? ( You can perform a link check in AltaVista or Google by entering "link-webaddress" in the search box. Is it linked to reliable sites?
3.) Bias /Purpose Criteria:
  • Why was this website created? (to persuade, inform, explain, sell, promote, parody, other?)
  • Is it personal, commercial, government or organization site?
  • Is there any bias?
  • Is only one side of the argument presented?
  • Does it appear that nay information is purposely omitted?
  • Is there a hidden message?
  • Is it trying to persuade you or change your opinion? Is the bias useful to you in some way?
  • Can you distinguish fact from opinion?
4.) Usability/design Criteria:
  • Is the site easy to navigate (user-friendly)?
  • Is the a well-labeled contents area?
  • Do all of the design elements (graphics, art, buttons, et.) enhance the message of the site?
  • Is there consistency in the basic formats of each page?
  • Are there any errors in spelling or grammar?
  • Do the pages appear clean, uncluttered?
  • Do the links on the site work?

Click on to learn the exact steps to take. Complete the with strengths and weaknesses, remember to write two to three complete sentences defending your decision.
Step 5 Choose three or four additional specialist areas and complete charts.

Graphic available online at