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Online Learning and Digital Literacy

Welcome to the Online Information Skills Help Page

Here you can find help with searching and evaluating online information, research and citation, and digital citizenship.

How to Search for Online Information

How to Evaluate Online Information

A good assignment starts with quality information.  You can evaluate the resources you find online using the STAR test, which examines the source, timeliness, accuracy and relevance of the information found on websites.

 

Source:

  • Who is the author?
  • Who is making the information available?
  • What are their credentials or qualifications?
  • What makes them an authority on this subject?
  • Is the source biased or expressing opinion or trying to sell something?
  • Choose sources that are credible and relatively objective.

Timeliness:

  • When was the information published or last updated?
  • Does the date of publication matter to your assignment?
    • For example, if you are working on a current event, or a science or health topic, you will need something that has been published recently.
  • If you are working on a historical topic, currency may not be as important.

Accuracy:

  • Is the information free of spelling, grammatical and technical errors?
  • Where did the information come from?
  • Look for information or references that can be verified.

Relevance:

  • Does this information meet the requirements of your assignment?
  • How will it help answer the question you are asking?
  • Choose information that will help you build a strong argument, illuminate concepts, or provide the best evidence.