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Workplace Essentials Skills Training (WEST)

This guide provides Library support to students in Workplace Essentials Skills Training programs.

WEST: Approaches to Evaluating Online Sources

Categories and questions to consider when evaluating websites:

Author

  • Who created the information of the website? 
  • Is the author an expert in the subject of the website?  How do you know?

Accuracy

  • Is the information on this website factual? How can you find out?
  • When was the information updated?

Relevance

  • Is the website useful for my question or purpose?
  • What is the purpose of this website?

Point of View

  • What is the author’s point of view?
  • Why did the author put this information online?
  • How does the point of view influence the content of the website?
  • Is the information one sided or are multiple points of view provided?

Reliable

  • Do other websites offer supporting or conflicting information on the topic?
  • Can you trust the information on this website? How do you know?

Coiro, J., Coscarelli, C., Maykel, C., & Forzani, E. (2015). Investigating criteria that seventh graders use to evaluate the quality of online information. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy59(3), 287-297.

Coiro, J. (2014, April 7). Teaching adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information.

Evaluating Websites

This video clip shares strategies for evaluating websites.

When evaluating a website:

  • Look at the About page to find out:
    • Who posted the information?
      • Is the author or organization known in their field?
    • When was the website published?
    • When was the website last updated?
      • Is the website up-to-date?

 

  • Ask yourself, is the website credible?
    • What date was it published?
    • Who is the author of the website?
    • Is credit given to other sources?
    • Does it contain facts or opinion?
    • Is it one-sided?
    • Can you find the same information on another website?
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