Tag Archives: website evaluation

Website Evaluation Form

Website Evaluation Checklist – Teachers

Subject: ____________________________________________

Grade: _____________________________________________

Site Title: __________________________________________

URL: ______________________________________________

Date: ______________________________________________

Author/Site creator: __________________________________

To assess the value of a website, consider the criteria described below and tick the box that best suits.




1. Educational Criteria
    Does this site contain sufficient information on this particular subject?
    Is the information useful for the purpose of this subject?
    Is the information accurate for the purpose of this subject?
    Are the majority of students able to read the information?
    Is the information on this site well organised?
    Are there suitable interactive activities for the students?
    Is it suitable for students who are sight impaired?
    Is the content suitable from a Christian perspective?
2. Reliability Criteria
    Is the author of the material clearly identifiable?
    Is information about the author available?
    Can the author be easily contacted to verify information?
    Is there a date for when the site was created?
    Is the site updated regularly?
    Can the information be easily checked against other links       on the site?
    Is the sponsor of the site easily identifiable?
    Is the site impartial? (i.e. unbiased)
    Is this site free from advertisements?
3. Technical Criteria
    Does the web page load in a reasonable time?
    Is it easy for students to navigate around the site?
    Is there a good balance of text and graphics suitable for the students?
    Is the spelling and grammar correct?
    Do the links work?

Considering the above criteria, is this a website you would consider using?      Yes      No

(Remember educational criteria are essential to assess the suitability of the site.)




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Topic 4 – Searching

Activity 1 – Noodletools Site


– A real mix of different information that wasn’t connected. Asked me to “target” my search to make it more specific, but even this didn’t really help

– Very biased toward American sites and information

– A much better site for general information for a geography teacher

– Very biased toward American sites and information

Activity 2 – Google Features

  • Advanced search – a lot more useful and specific sites just by using this
  • File type – great if you want to find interactive powerpoints
  • Language – not sure I would us this much, but good to know for suggesting to language teachers
  • Site or domain – love the Australia.gov.au suggestion, there was heaps of good information there for older students
  • Google Images – my son showed me this one – great for any image/picture
  • Google Maps – found my house! Awesome!
  • Google Earth – great for the Geography teacher or units on features such as landscapes or buildings
  • Google News – current news items that can be shared with a class
  • Google Books – great for doing a book search on a particular topic
  • Google Scholar – a bit limited, but had some good articles on TLs

I have never used any of these features but Google Images before. I’ve listed them here so that I can refer to them in the future. It’s definitely changed the way I’m going to search in future.

Activity 3 – Knowledge 2.0


  • I like the way a lot of the search engines are grouped under the heading More Great Search Engines – once you become more familiar with the strengths of each search engine, you’ll become better at finding the better search engine to use.
  • I don’t have students I can test a search engine with, but had a look at http://www.schools.ash.org.au/lakemba/ingra56w.html

–       This gave me different information

Activity 4 – Boswell’s Guide


  • How to search the web more efficiently and effectively

Activity 5 – The Seven Habits Site


  • Some great advice that I need to go back to, in order to absorb more.
  • This would be a great starting place to give advice to students about how to search more effectively – could develop a whole term’s worth of lessons just on different search engines!
  • One idea is to use different search engines/methods to find information on the same subject.

Search activity table

Search engine Keywords Hits How useful? Comments
http://www.dogpile.com/ discovery AND gold AND NSW pages The ones further down the page were more useful Much better results when I did “gold rush” as an exact phrase and to include NSW
quinturakids.com/ “gold rush” NSW none Not at all I think American based
education.iseek.com/ “gold rush”NSW none Not at all Got American hits when I tried just gold rush
http://www.bing.com/?cc=au “gold rush”NSW heaps Fabulous It just proves to me that some of the “bigger” and better-known sites will yield more specific results to your search. However, I’ve also learnt to refine my search so that I get more of what I want.



Boswell, W. (2010). Web search made simple [ETL501 Topic 4]. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://websearch.about.com/od/searchingtheweb/tp/web_search_simple.htm

  • I have learned heaps from this article – good to go back to at a later date.

Carlson, C. (2002). Notes from the technology trenches – the seven commandments of highly effective Web searching [ETL501 Topic 4]. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://www.llrx.com/columns/notes54.htm

  • My biggest issue is wasting my time – if I can’t find it in 10 minutes, stop looking or try something completely different!

Cohen, L.B. (2012). Internet tutorials: Your basic guide to the Internet [ETL501 Topic 4]. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://www.internettutorials.net/

  • My favourite “reading” – so much that I had a vague idea about has been explained in these tutorials.
  • These tutorials will really help me lay the foundation for my students – I have learned so much here.

Hock, R. (2007). The extreme searcher’s Internet handbook: A guide for the serious searcher. (2nd ed.) Medford NJ: Cyberage Books.

  • This is an excellent resource for basic and advanced searches and using different types of search engines.
  • Loved the glossary, which helped with computer terms.

Notess, G. (2006). Teaching Web search skills. Medford NJ: Information Today, Inc.

  • Unable to obtain this book.

Shambles.net (2010). Google Earth lessons [ETL 501 Topic 4]. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/GeogP/gearthplan/

  • Fabulous – there was heaps of stuff to play around with here, great for learning about maps, distances, geographical features. Perfect for the Geography teacher.

UC Berkeley Library. (2009). Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial [ETL 501 Topic 4]. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Strategies.html

  • Initially I thought this was too “cluttered”, but it actually had a detailed summary of everything that I’ve learnt – a bit too detailed to use with kids, but great for adults.

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Topic 3 – Website Evaluation


Activity 1 – Evaluate Cyberguide Ratings

Having never had to evaluate a website before, this looks pretty comprehensive to me. However, until I’ve actually used this tool it’s difficult to critically analyse. This tool seems okay, but a bit wordy and long. Do we have the time to complete this checklist for every website that we come across? Or do we just have to make time because it’s our responsibility? I think that I would need to add something about the suitability for particular students to use. Kindergarten students have very different reading abilities and interests to Year 6.


Activity 2 – Herring’s Ratings For Evaluating Websites

Herring’s reliability criterion for evaluating websites is quicker and easier to use than Schrock’s. While the theory behind Schrock’s article is sound, I do not have the time to evaluate each website based on 26 criterion.

The other aspect that I need to consider working in an independent Christian school is that based on the school’s religious standings. The library does not have books, which contain reference to witchcraft or Halloween. Is there a Christian website evaluation tool that I could consider? Must research that one!


Herring, J. (2011). Improving Students’ Web Use And Information Literacy: A Guide For Teacher Librarians. London: Facet Publishing

Schrock, K. (2002). The ABC’s of Website Evaluation [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3]. Retrieved July 29, 2012, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL501_201260_W_D/page/a3f259ea-c828-4e4f-80ec-26eee70de0c7

Activity 3 – Summary of Readings on Topic 3

  • Ferguson and Johnson and Lamb’s articles were similar in criterion list. Except that the latter recommended cross-checking data which I thought was a good idea. A bit like my parents who would always get 3 quotes on a house job to make ensure that they weren’t being ripped off! It also included a list of sites that were dubious and power point presentations that you could use with a class to evaluate a website.
  • The article on Testing the three click rule still seemed a bit ambiguous and inconclusive to me…
  • Schrock’s Critical evaluation surveys are an awesome resource for evaluating all sorts of things to do with the web – have a look at the sidebar list of information too. I really liked the “bogus” websites that you could use to help your students evaluate authentic websites from fake ones – one even admits that it’s an April Fool’s joke. Wish I had more time to look further at this, but at least I know where it is now. Also had PowerPoint presentations to use with the class. One site that was no longer up-to-date had a link to more updated information – this would be a valid site?


  • The Schrock’s 5 W’s of website evaluation is a lovely summary for the kids.
  • The Scottish Library and Information Council’s Validity of information was sound, but long-winded. It took a while to go through all the links and the information became disjointed.


Ferguson, J. (2005). Why evaluate information found on the Web? [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Johnson, D. and Lamb, A. (2007). Evaluating Internet resources. [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Porter, J. (2003). Testing the three-click rule. [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Schrock, K. (2009A). Critical evaluation surveys. [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Schrock, K. (2009b). The 5 Ws of website evaluation. [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Scottish Library and Information Council (2006). Validity of information. [ETL501 Part 1: Topic 3] Retrieved July 6, 2012.

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Topic 1 – Resource Provision

Bloom’s Taxonomy

I initially found this task daunting as I haven’t worked in a classroom for so long and I’m not used to using the Internet to search for resources that are reliable and student-friendly.

So, I decided to list all the resources that I would look at using for any topic.

  • Dictionary
  • Atlas
  • Encyclopaedia
  • Syllabus
  • Teacher resources
  • Posters/Charts/Pictures
  • Online search
  • Local/state government – printed material and online
  • Textbooks – fiction and non-fiction
  • Field study/excursion
  • Guest speakers – from local groups/parents
  • Class discussion/prior knowledge

The content of the resource information would have to vary according to the ability of the children within the class. You would need to be really organised with resources available prior to the beginning of the unit of work.

I would suggest that this unit of work could be undertaken by students from Year 5 doing just the Knowledge/Comprehension and Application sections and the older grades doing all 6 sections depending on their ability.

Objective Question Resource
Knowledge What is an ecosystem? Dictionary – print or online or basic textbook
Knowledge Define an ecosystem and list the varieties that are found in South Australia. Encyclopaedia – print or online or basic science bookContact South Australian government or look on their website:www.environment.sa.gov.au/Conservation/Ecosystem_conservation


Contact Australian Ecosystems:


Comprehension List the different parts of the ecosystem and explain what they do. Encyclopaedia – print or online or basic science bookPosters/Charts/PicturesOnline search:


Comprehension Compare a marine ecosystem with one from another area of our state. ExcursionOnline search:www.environment.sa.gov.au/naturelinks/emw/marine-cons.html


Application Using a diagram, show how the water cycle operates in an ecosystem Encyclopaedia – print or online or basic science bookPosters/Charts/PicturesOnline search:




Application Demonstrate what happens when humans interfere with the water cycle. Science textbookGuest Speaker – from local/state government or conservation group
Analysis Contrast the natural water cycle with that used by our community Excursion – Water PlantGuest Speaker – from local/state government or conservation group
Analysis Examine an ecosystem that has been damaged by human interference. Avoided how? Textbook – print or onlineOnline search:http://lsnhs.leesummit.k12.mo.us/awilcox/SON/Notes/Unit06Notes.pdf


Synthesis Identify an unspoilt ecosystem and design a way of preserving it. Where the Forest Meets the Seaby Jeannie BakerExcursion to an unspoilt local areaGuest Speaker – from local/state government or conservation group
Synthesis How would preserving our local ecosystems enhance our environment? Excursion to an unspoilt local areaGuest Speaker – from local/state government or conservation group
Evaluation Is it reasonable that people pollute our waterways? Defend your answer Online search:www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/waterpollution.htmwww.council.lithgow.com/stormwater/index.html

Class discussion

Evaluation Assess the impact of pollution in our local waterways. Field study to local waterwaysGuest Speaker – from local/state government or conservation groupOnline search: As above

Geography Teacher

Three types of key resources I would encourage a new Geography teacher to use would include:

1)    Reliable Website Resources:


This is an awesome source for new Geography teachers in NSW as it goes through how to programme, how to assess the students, expectations etc. At the very end it has a list of useful websites that the teacher can use to get resources on a particular topic such as Rainforests.

2)    Geography Syllabus:


3)    Library Resources:

A bulk library loan on Rainforests, which could include some or all of the following:

– Non-fiction and fiction books suitable for Year 7

– Teaching Resources that include ideas on what and how to teach Rainforests

– Kits on Rainforests that can include posters/charts/pictures

There are other sources of resources that you could mention to the teacher such as:

  • Environmental Education Centre
  • Joining the professional association
  • Speaking with other teachers who have taught this unit
  • Local/state conservation and government groups
  • Excursion – kids LOVE going on an excursion and usually the place has information to support the unit of study

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