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Peer Review

Internet Detective

by Various


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Apr 03, 2013 by Library and Information Services
Overview: This tutorial provides information on how to use the Web wisely for research. It explains that there is good information (even scholarly articles) on the web, but you have to know how to find it. It also cautions against plagiarism and using biased sources. It does not talk about a particular library so it could be used by any library. This is a tutorial that is broken into sections on source evaluation and plagiarism. It includes several quizzes as opportunities to assess content.
Type of Material: tutorial
Recommended Uses: Individual modules could be used in-class or assigned as homework. Most helpful use could be as an additional resource for further reading for exam review, etc.
Technical Requirements: Web browser
Identify Major Learning Goals: The goal of this site is to enable the student to evaluate the quality of web resources and to understand the necessity for doing so, as well as to help students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
Target Student Population: College/university students in either subject-specific classes or a for-credit information literacy class
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None, though familiarity with the research-paper-writing process is preferable.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The module provides great information about choosing quality online resources and avoiding plagiarism. It’s clear and understandable. Beautiful and professional graphics and design. The content is very thorough, with examples of most concepts. All content is summarized at both the section and overall level.
Concerns: Some information needs to be updated: description of Metacrawler search engine is no longer accurate, Whirled Bank site layout no longer mirrors World Bank one, the link to the Office of Fair Trading is broken, all 5 “Case of the Random Results” links are broken/expired, no longer exists.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” module has a quiz and summary at the end; rest of modules have summaries as well. Each module builds on the previous ones, but they can be used separately. Each module contains clear learning outcomes and could be used by people in a variety of disciplines.
Concerns: Many of the pages are very text-heavy, without too many pictures or interactive elements; given that the first page states that the whole tutorial takes about an hour to go through, students may lose interest partway through.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The quizzes provide nice interactivity. The site is very attractive and of high quality. The tutorial itself is extremely easy to use
Concerns: Screenshots of the Journal of Chemical Education and the World Trade Organization are too small to see clearly and cannot be enlarged, making the in-depth investigation of their quality difficult. Links to the sites are not provided either. The tutorial page on citation talks only about Harvard and Numeric citation styles, neither of which will be familiar to US users.

Other Issues and Comments: none