It is important for teachers to teach their students to make good choices when researching online. They need to make sure the information is accurate and up to date along with appropriate for the audience. It is also important to make sure students are not searching sites that are not educationally friendly and/or could be harmful to them. Here are some links that will be helpful for teachers to look at when creating their own guidelines for students when giving assignments that require internet searches.
One checklist that is easy to follow to make sure the information found is a good resource is CARS checklist. Students should follow this checklist while they do the research verifying the information that is found is helpful and good. CARS stands for Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, and Support.
There is so much information out on the web that is not accurate or is out of date. Students need to take the few extra minutes to make sure what is found is appropriate and beneficial for the research they are performing. The website gives more information regarding each word and how it is helpful for students while researching.
Along with credibility, accuracy, reasonableness and support, it’s important for students to not even open links to sites that could be harmful. To help with this, the researcher should read the short introduction before checking the website. Also verify the address to see if it looks to be credible. Another site with great information regarding the different kind of research and how to look safely and accurately comes from a popular site about.com, “How to Properly Research Online.” This article also explains using more than one browser and search engine, filtering the information that was found and correctly citing the resources that are used, which is another voice on how important citing is and not plagiarizing information found online.
Once in a website that seems to be a great source, check where the information came from, the authors information and the date the site was written. Much of this information can be found at the top or bottom of the webpage. Sometimes it takes a little searching, however, it’s important to make sure the information is credible. Another source that discusses what information to look for for credibility is “Evaluating Internet Research Sources.” This site has researchers look into the author and all information that can be found about the author and date the site was written. Along with this site is “Evaluation Criteria.” Another checklist of verifying the credibility of the site found.
All four of these sites discusses different aspects of safety and accuracy while searching the internet, making sure what is found is safe and proper to use in education. The guidelines I would use would incorporate parts of all four of these great resources.
- Read the introduction to the website before automatically clicking onto the webpage. This could stop harmful material from being downloaded onto the machine
- Check for author and date of article- make sure the information being used is up to date and written by a credible author
- Check for sources within the site- If the material is credible, there should be other resources within the site showing where the information came from when creating the site. If no sources are located, it may be better to use another resource. One can also click onto the sources within the site for more information and new research
- Always cite the information that is used from the research that was found