Checklist for Web Site Evaluation

This checklist is a useful tool for teachers and learners to evaluate website quality.

Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)
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Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)
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Adult education teachers can use this tool to evaluate web sites they visit or want to use with students. Students can also use the checklist to assess website quality for their own uses.

Websites are evaluated using a four-point rubric on 17 criteria in three domains:

  • Content Validity (e.g., Is the information current?);
  • Authority or Authorship of Source (e.g, Can you identify the author as well known and respected in field?); and
  • Technical Quality (e.g., Is the site easy to navigate?)

Scores are added and divided by the total items scored (NA scores are not counted). The quotient produces a rating based on the following scale:

  • 3.50 – 4.00  Excellent resource
  • 3.00 – 5.50  Good resource
  • 2.50 – 3.00  Possible resource

Permission is granted to adapt or use the checklist as needed.

What the experts say

Digital Citizenship is a recognized concept across the world focusing on the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Being able to evaluate a website is an element of the Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship that students should know and be able to do. This resource effectively prepares students to carry out that important task. 

This tool should be, at the minimum, a recommended piece of any Digital Literacy training course. Now, more than ever, teachers and students must be able to distinguish between valid websites and not just how professional a website looks.

The resource could be used by teachers and, in some cases by adult learners to evaluate website quality. The process of evaluating a website is often engaging, sometimes frustrating when it isn’t clear how to judge a characteristic with the information provided on the website, but that is good practice for adult learners (and teachers) to develop critical thinking skills.

This is a simple tool for teachers and/or adult learners to use to evaluate websites, especially the quality of the information provided on a website. It is straightforward, efficient and, perhaps best of all, permission is granted for a teacher to adapt it for her/his own purposes and students. This means that teachers can simplify or clarify the evaluative language if they need to, add questions, or in other ways adapt the tool to suit their needs.

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