Monday, September 13, 2004

Using IllumiRate to Teach Students About Evaluating Web Resources. This is a new lesson plan at LI.Com co-wrote by Barbara York and myself. It is based on the successful Joeant assignment I have used in the past rewritten for use with the Illumirate web directory. I am going to assign this next week and see how it goes. I believe that this assignment will do a good job of making students think about web sites.

From the site:

Teaching students to evaluate the Web can be hard. Despite repeated lectures, students tend to use whatever information is easiest to find. As the Web is easy to use, and since bad site owners have a knack for optimizing for search engines, this usually means the students often use Web sources of questionable quality.

There are several volunteer created Web directories online. These are excellent places to find some of the better resources on the Internet as all entries in the database will have been reviewed by humans. This kills much of the spam.

Most students would benefit from volunteering to edit at one of these volunteer directories. Learning the criteria for the selection of sites and learning how to write an informative description for them would invariably help students learn to evaluate sites better. Unfortunately, most of the volunteer directories would be difficult to access for class purposes. For example, most students would be rejected on their first attempt to edit at the Open Directory Project ( and the time required to pass all the required tests at Zeal ( would make it hard to give students a Zeal based assignment.

IllumiRate ( is an easy to use site that allows all new editors accepted into the program to add, rate, and critique sites in any area of its directory. In addition, the volunteers at IllumiRate give quick and friendly feedback to new editors allowing individuals to learn the basic elements of editing at the directory fairly quickly. As such, it is an ideal setting for giving students an assignment working on a volunteer directory.

No comments: