K. Find/Evaluate Web Sites, Blogs, Wikis & More

1. Problem

Many students think they are good researchers because they can use Google and Wikipedia.

However, they may not know how to evaluate and select useful web sites, blogs and other information available through web.

See Expected Learning Outcomes (below) and Methods (to the right) for help with this problem.

2. Expected Learning Outcomes

After completing an exercise or going through an interactive online information literacy tutorial, or after reading through evaluative criteria, all students will apply three or more evaluative criteria in order to select useful information available through the Web.

3. Methods

Exercise--in-class (15 min.):

  • Ask students to pair up and go to this site:
Hoax? Scholarly Research? Personal Opinion? You Decide!
  • Assign pairs to Group 1 (Authority and Accuracy), Group 2 (Advocacy and Objectivity) or Group 3 (Currency and Coverage)
  • Ask students to review at least 2 web sites in their Group, keeping the Group's topic area in mind  (allow 2-3 minutes)
  • Ask Groups to report back, but save Group 2 for last
  • After Group has reported back, focus on the Martin Luther King, Jr. sites
  • For the "Martin Luther King Jr., a Historical Examination" site, scroll down, click on "Hosted by Stormfront," and discuss the importance of knowing the purpose and sponsor/author of a site


Assign a critical thinking essay using the Hoax?... exercise site.

Exercise--in-class (10 min.) or homework:

  • Ask students to do a general Google search and a Google Scholar search for information on a given topic.
  • Ask them to compare those results with results from sites reviewed and selected by librarians, often, research or subject guides on your library's website.

Evaluative Criteria (web sites, blogs, social networking sites, etc.):


Online Tutorial (lessons, interactive exercises):

  • "Road to Research: Judge for Yourself: Websites"

4. Assessment
  • "Road to Research: Judge for Yourself: Exercise
  • "Road to Research: Judge for Yourself: Quiz" (Guest)
Note: Links above are to archived copies of pages in the Internet Archive, as the "Road to Research" is temporarily unavailable as of 16 Sep 2015 due to revision work on the UCLA Social Sciences Computing Center's website.

 In addition, this tutorial has not been maintained by the UCLA Library since Summer 2011, and some portions may be out of date. It is used here as an example.