Web-Resource Criteria

For helping my students evaluate web resources, I wanted to keep the list small, and use easy to remember language.

  1. I or They? – (Is it the opinion of one person, such as an opinion piece or personal blog? Or is this linked to an organization or institution? Who? Which one?)
    While individuals can have good informational resources, for a more trustworthy site, we often go to government sites, or non-profit sites, or university-affiliated sites.
  2. Reputation? – (Have you heard anything about this source? Is it cited by other sites you trust?)
  3. Verification? – (Can you verify some of the information against other trusted resources? Textbooks? Books in the Learning Commons?)
    If you find errors or contradictions when compared to other resources, you may have reason to be suspicious.)
  4. Cui bono? – (Is this information or these “facts” going to benefit anyone?)
    If the information might lead you to make a purchase, or spend money, be extra careful relying on the information.

For my sample site, I chose TED ED’s student resources.


Various videos have different creators, however, it was easy for me to run a google search on them, and see that many of them had published articles in respected journals. I also was able to verify many of the facts through district approved textbooks. Also, there were no ads trying to sell me anything.

Looks good!


3.3 Alternate Criteria evaluation.

Criteria for Online Verification 


  1. What is the source of the online information?
    • Are they a credible source?
    • Are they the original source?
  2. Is there a possibility of financial gain?
    • Is there advertising on the page?
    • Are they trying to sell something?
  3. When was the site last updated?  How old is the organization who created the site?
  4. Is the site easily navigable?
    • Are there useable hyperlinks?
    • Can you navigate forward and backward?
  5. Can facts on the page be verified by other sources?
    • Use fact-checking sites (snopes.com, factscan.ca)
    • Use credible news agencies.

1. Well, TED-ED is used by many educators, and they have world-class lecturers presenting for them.
Not necessarily original source of information, however.
2. Nope. Looks good on this front.
3. TED has been around for 30+ years and is widely known. TED-ED is an offshoot of TED.
4. Super easy to navigate, great setup, good search functions.
5. The various videos I evaluated looked to be in line with trusted resources, textbooks and the like.

category: EDDL 5101    

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