Evaluating Sources

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This lesson was created as the CA4 for the ED219 course at Millikkin University, Fall 2010. The goal was to incorporate learned technology with differentiated learning, learning styles, and engaged learning.

Students will use this Web Quest to review the types of sources available for a research-based project. They will develop an understanding of what is considered a reliable or unreliable source and how Wikipedia can be used to gather information but not be used as a source.

At the completion of the project, students will demonstrate their ability to search for possible sources and explain why they are realiable. The completed list could be used to further their research and start planning a paper or project.

This lesson has been developed for grades 9-12 English Language Arts in Illinois.

Illinois English Language Arts, Goal 5, Research
5.B.4a Choose and evaluate primary and secondary sources (print and nonprint) for a variety of purposes.

Formulate advanced search strategies, demonstrating an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the Internet, and evaluate the quality and appropriate use of Internet resources.

Summary of Objectives
1. List the different types of sources and define what the standards are for a "reliable" source.
2. Explain why a specific source is reliable.
3. Evaluate a list of sources to determine whether they can be considered reliable.
4. Distinguish the difference between a reliable and an unreliable source.
5. Revise a list of sources to create a larger selection.
6. Defend a final list of source and explain why they are reliable.

This WebQuest can be completed independently or as pre-work for a research project. It works great either to teach how good sources are determined, as a refresher for students who wish to review, or to kick off a new project. 

When writing this WebQuest and Lesson Plan (resource below,) I took into consideration several methods of instruction. Guiding examples and self-paced learning were key to the development of this WebQuest.

This WebQuest relies heavily on Internet connectivity, both for the content being covered and instructional tools.

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