All digital content accessed by netTrekker have been evaluated by the Content Team educators/evaluators for academic integrity and age appropriateness.
Authority or credibility refers to the source of the site and whether that source has integrity, objectivity, and academic rigor. The educators/evaluators use the following basic guidelines for judging site authority (adapted from the Dartmouth College Library website):
- Who developed the site? Is that person or entity an authority on the subject of the site? What are the author’s credentials?
- Who sponsors/publishes the site? Is the sponsor likely to be reliable (university, government agency, other credible sources)? What is the sponsoring organization’s mission?
- Is the site unbiased, or if biased, is the bias acknowledged?
- Is the site designed to inform, rather than to entertain or advertise?
- Is there a bibliography or other documentation for the material in the site?
- Has the site been updated, if necessary, to keep up with current events?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the site well organized and edited? are language usage and navigation clear?
Comprehensiveness refers to the breadth and depth of information coverage presented on the site.
Style refers to the writing style and the clarity of the information presented.
Design refers to the structure and visual appeal of the site. This includes whether text color and background are compatible, as well as general site appearance.
Navigation refers to the ease of use for student users moving about the site.
- Relative Value
Value refers to how this site compares to other resources available.
- Controversial Information
Controversy is at the heart of all academic study and is a necessary element in netTrekker. Sites that deal with controversial subjects, or which present controversial points of view are included, but their evaluations are marked with to notify users before they access the site itself.
- Minimal Pop-Up Ads and Other Forms of Advertising
Pop-up ads, or spawning browser windows, are both annoying and distracting. Although they are an economic reality for many good websites, netTrekker makes every attempt to include only those sources where there are either no ads or, at the least, there is control over inappropriate or obnoxious ads.
Special Criteria for Elementary netTrekker
- Addresses accessible concepts in grade-appropriate vocabulary OR chosen for usefulness to grades K-5 educators
- Heavy on images, pictures, and graphics (not just text) if chosen for student use
- Supports K-5 curriculum and standards
- May include:
- Elementary school lesson plans for grades K-5
- Interactive games, puzzles, learning exercises appropriate to grades K-5
- Very little, if any, advertising, and NO objectionable advertising
Special Criteria for Middle School netTrekker
- Addresses accessible concepts in grade-appropriate vocabulary OR chosen for usefulness to grade 6-8 educators
- Contains some pictures or graphics
- Supports middle school/junior high curriculum and standards
- May include:
- Middle school/junior high lesson plans for grades 6-8
- Interactive games, puzzles, learning exercises appropriate to grades 6-8
- No objectionable advertising (though some advertising is permitted
“Evaluating Resources” The Regents of the University of California. 25 Jul 2017. http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/evaluating-resources. 25 July 2017.