Tutorial designed to teach college-level students about evaluating Internet sources for academic work and provides an overview of issues about plagiarism, copyright and citations. Internet Detective provides a discussion of the type and quality of information available online and provides criteria and practice in evaluation of Internet sites.
Type of Material:
Free, online tutorial that Includes text content, practical exercises, and brief quiz questions. Available for non-commercial, academic and research use in the UK and elsewhere.
Use prior to a library instruction session as an introduction to material or as a stand-alone learning object. The tutorial could be used as supplemental, online content for in class or for Web-based courses.
Browser only. The tutorial can also be added to online courses using VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) download for Moodle, Blackboard and Web CT.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Designed to teach college/university students why quality is an issue for online sources, practical skills they can use to evaluate online sources, information about why indiscriminate Internet research is not appropriate for academic work, and an overview of the issues relating to plagiarism, copyright a citation of Internet sources.
Target Student Population:
The tutorial is designed for college/university- level students. The content level is appropriate for all ages of new or returning students taking higher education courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Internet and browser access required. The tutorial is available in a web version and as a downloadable version that for use in Virtual Learning Environments (VLES).
Evaluation and Observation
The tutorial covers the content thoroughly in a well-ordered manner. There are a number of examples and users are given opportunity to practice many of the skills for themselves. The "Get on the Case" section included a nice application of the content, and the quizzes should helpful to students and also to the content developers as they review student responses.
When instructors assign this content, they may want to divide up the sections to assign individual subtopics since the content includes mostly text and covers three broad subtopics - Internet search, evaluating, and plagiarism/citing.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The tutorial does very well at building from easier concepts to more difficult ones. Identified learning objectives and is structured in a way that conveys the relationship between searching, evaluating and citing.
I didn't see a statement of prerequisite skills but assuming it is directed at freshmen students.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The tutorial is visually interesting, provides opportunity for interactivity and is overall of high quality.
Other Issues and Comments:
The only possible issue is the inclusion of the plagiarism/copyright section, as it doesn't fit in entirely with the theme and other content elements.