Evaluating Web Resources*

Jeong-Bae Son

With the rapid growth of the Internet, the number of Web sites has grown dramatically in a very short time. Along with this, the use of the Web is being considered as effective computer-assisted language learning (CALL) practice and is becoming a significant issue in CALL research. As there are now a large number of Web sites related to language learning and teaching, CALL practitioners need to become discerning and thoughtful Web users with clear ideas of Web resource quality factors. Interestingly, there are a lot of sites on the Web explaining how to evaluate Web resources critically. Here are some Web sites containing useful information on the evaluation of Web resources.

Alexander, J. & Tate, M. A. "Evaluating Web resources"
http://www2.widener.edu/Wolfgram-Memorial-Library/webevaluation/webeval.htm (Not found in March 2006)
This site provides materials that can be used for teaching how to evaluate the informational content of Web resources.

Auer, N. J. "Bibliography on evaluating Internet resources"
http://www.lib.vt.edu/research/libinst/evalbiblio.html (Not found in March 2006)
This site gives a list of general references on the evaluation of Internet resources.

Grassian, E. "Thinking critically about World Wide Web resources"
This site shows some points to consider regarding the selection of Web resources.

Harris, R. "Evaluating Internet research sources"
This site presents an article which examines the evaluation of information on the Internet.

Kelly, C. (2000). "Guidelines for designing a good Web site for ESL students". The Internet TESL Journal, 6 (3).
As design and evaluation are complementary to each other, the guidelines suggested on this site can be applied to the evaluation of Web sites.

McKenzie, J. (1997). "Comparing & evaluating Web information sources". From Now on: The Educational Technology Journal, 6 (9).
This site presents an article which discusses criteria for the evaluation of information sources and provides a list of references in relation to the development of Web site evaluation skills.

McLachlan, K. "CyberGuides"
This site provides guides for rating the curriculum content on Web sites and the design of a Web site.

Nelson, J. F. (1997). "A system for the evaluation of ESL Web sites"
http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~jtnelson/thesis/complete_thesis.html (Not found in March 2006)
This site presents a thesis which discusses a review system based on a pedagogical model for language learning, the Proficiency Approach; general Web design principles; and other evaluative systems for CALL.

Nielsen, J. "Alertbox: Current issues in Web usability"
Nielsen's columns on Web usability are listed on this site.

Schrock, K. "Critical evaluation information"
This site offers a series of evaluation surveys, one each at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels, and a list of useful Web sites for critical evaluation.

Tillman, H. N. "Evaluating quality on the net"
This site presents a paper which explores criteria for evaluation and evaluation tools on the net.

All of the above Web sites were last visited at 8 May 2000. I hope that the information provided here will be of help to ALAA members in the task of evaluating Web resources.

* This is a column published in the ALAA Newsletter No 42.
(Last updated: 14 April 2011)

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