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College Composition Collaboration Online

Selecting Resources for Distance Learning Students

Unit Overview

During this unit, you will:

  1. Watch a video and review a few checklists about how to evaluate web sources, then take a quiz.
  2. Watch a librarian show you how to generate key words, search for sites using those key words, and evaluate the sites you find.
  3. Apply your knowledge by evaluating potential, relevant web sources for your research project and sharing your findings with your peers.

Prep Activities

1. Watch and take notes on the video below.


2. Review the checklists below. The checklists can help you ask the right questions to determine whether a specific type of web page meets the criteria discussed in the video.

NOTE: The checklists were created by Nan B. Adams, PhD., who summarized information from Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander & Marsha Ann Tate.


3. After reviewing the video and checklists above, take the Unit 1 Quiz.

Guided Activities

Earlier in the semester, you came up with a research question to answer. You should watch the Guided Activities videos below with that question in mind. That is, these videos are preparing you to find and analyze web sites that will help you to answer your research question. After watching the Guided Activities, proceed to the Application Activities section below.

Application Activities

To apply what you have learned in this unit:

  1. Complete the Find Keywords Worksheet for your research topic and question. You'll find the worksheet at the bottom of the Guided Activities area above. You will upload this document later to Canvas, so keep track of where you put it.
  2. Search the web to find a minimum of two relevant web sites using key words and search techniques. A relevant web site is one that will help you to answer your research question or one or more of your sub questions.
  3. Use the Website Evaluation Exercise document to evaluate the sites you found. You will upload this document later to Canvas, so keep track of where you put it.
  4. Post to the Unit 1 forum. After saying hello and letting classmates know the research question you want to answer, share the following for at least one of the web sites you found: 
  • The site name and URL.
  • Your evaluation of the site in light of what you learned about evaluating information you find on the Web. Be sure to address all of the major criteria: authority, accuracy, currency, and objectivity. Give each criteria its own paragraph.
  • A discussion of whether or not you will use the site as a source and why. Use the Website Evaluation Exercise document that you completed to help you think about and convey why you will or will not use the source.
  • Specific information from the site that you think you might use in your paper and how you will use the information.

IMPORTANT THING ONE: The information you write for Step 4 should be posted as a reply to the forum and should not be an attachment.

IMPORTANT THING TWO: Before you submit your forum assignment, attach the documents you completed for Steps 1 and 3.

If you have questions about this assignment, please post them to the Q&A forum in our Canvas course.