This lesson is part of a larger series of five lessons in which students create a handbook for women's safety on college campuses. In this lesson students will evaluate the web resources they've discovered determining if those sources meet the basic criteria for credibility and reliabilty.
I handout copies of the district website evaluation organizer. This document helps students determine if a website is credible or not.
We look at the different sections of the checklist and I explain to the students that a website does not have to meet the criteria absolutely in order for them to be able to use the information contained on the site, but it does need to meet at least 3/4 of the criteria.
"This checklist is meant to help train and guide you as you evaluate your information, to make sure you have the best possible information available for your handbook," I explain to them.
I don't expect the students to turn in a copy of the checklist for each website they ultimately use. Instead, I direct them to use a pencil and erase their marks after each website.
Sometimes the students discover about half-way down the checklist that the website they're using doesn't meet much of the criteria, and they abandon the website completely.
Othertimes the students move through the checklist quickly because the websites are well-organized.
In many ways, the checklist serves as a reminder of what they need in their own handbooks, and this is something we informally touch on.
I don't ask the students to fill out a written sheet for each website, but I do ask them to go back and verbally check the websites with their groups. I then walk around the room monitoring the students' progress and encouraging them to stay on task and actually use the sheet.
For the most part the students have at least two credible sources of information for their sections, which at roughly three to four pages is about right.
Now that they've completed the website credibility check they are ready to either go back and find sources that meet the credibility standards, or to start pulling relevant information from the sites they have to begin organizing their information.
Near the end of class I remind students that the next day we are going to use a graphic organizer to frame out the different sections and subsections of the handbook.