How students evaluate sources and information when searching the World Wide Web for information

Amber Walraven*, Saskia Brand-Gruwel, Els Boshuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    The World Wide Web (WWW) has become the biggest information source for students while solving information problems for school projects. Since anyone can post anything on the WWW, information is often unreliable or incomplete, and it is important to evaluate sources and information before using them. Earlier research has shown that students have difficulties with evaluating sources and information. This study investigates the criteria secondary educational students use while searching the Web for information. 23 students solved two information problems while thinking aloud. After completing the tasks they were interviewed in groups on their use of criteria. Results show that students do not evaluate results, source and information very often. The criteria students mention when asked which criteria are important for evaluating information are not always the same criteria they mention while solving the information problems. They mentioned more criteria but also admitted not always using these criteria while searching the Web.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)234-246
    JournalComputers and Education
    Issue number1
    Early online date27 Sep 2008
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


    • Information problem-solving
    • WWW
    • Information evaluation
    • thinking aloud


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