I recently read an article titled “Evaluating Information Found on the Internet” by the Library of John Hopkins University. This article shined some light on the internet, how information shared through it is not always valid and shouldn’t be taken as truth face valued, rather it should be analyzed and evaluated to determine its value, credibility and usefulness.
To determine if the information is useful and valid cafeterias were created and are used to validate which are authorship (is the author well knowned , reviewed by others?), accuracy and verifiability of details(is the information valid? Is it gathered using just methods?), currency( timeliness of information, does it still carry relevance?), Point of view bias(is the information presented one-sided, whats the tone of the document, personal belief of the author), and finally Referral to and/or knowledge of the literature(context in which the author states his or her work, author background knowledge. To get familiar with this practice I decided to apply these outlines methods of evaluation to evaluate an educational site.
I found a document online titled “A Project-based Digital Storytelling Approach for Improving Students Learning Motivation, Problem-Solving Competence and Learning” written by Chun-Ming Hung Gwo-Jen Hwang and Iwen Huang that I’m going to evaluate.
The Evaluating process
- Authorship. This document has three authors (whose names are stated above). The document provides some background of each author. Based on the information provided each writer is a specialist hailed from a University. Hung and Huang are from the Department of Information and Learning Technology, National University of Tainan and Hwang is from the Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Moreover, this document is linked to a journal site(www.ifets.info).
- Accuracy or Verifiability of details. In this research document the methods used to gather the information was found in the document. Also the document constantly quoted material written by other scholars of the field in which they wrote the document.
- Point of View Bias. the document didn’t contain obvious biases. However, because the document is published by writers who are specialist in the topic of discussion the results of the research experiment may have been focus more on the positives than negatives as they would likely want to promote the use of technology in learning. Yet all of the statement made by the writers were backed up by the results and/or other scholars of the field.
- Currency. this document was written and published in 2012. The research experiment was done n the year 2008. Thus this project is still considered relevant and is profitable and able to be used currently.Point of View, Bias. The document doesn’t seem to contain any biases. However, this document and research was done by individuals who are specialist in the field. Thus, this may have guided their focus to point out the result that promoted their beliefs as specialist. But most statements are backed up by detailed results and by other specialist and scholars.
- Referral to and/or knowledge of literature. The writers constantly referred to the writings of other published material and journals written by other scholars. The document also includes a bibliography. The writers display a great handle on the content that they discuss.
Going through these steps weren’t as difficult as I expected, likely so because all the information I needed was presented clearly and precisely in the document which may not always be the case. The document itself was very informing. The researcher found through their experiment that digital storytelling improved learning motivation, attitude, problem-solving capability and learning achievements of the students. This is great to know and is an idea I now consider implementing in my future classroom.
The evaluating process wasn’t fun (honestly) but it isn’t something I would mind doing to ensure my student are receiving and using the right information. If you plan to be a future educator or you’re a current student try evaluating a document for practice as you may need to use it as a professional.
Thanks for reading,