ERIC Number: ED471122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Do They Know What They're Downloading? A Study of How People Determine the Validity of Information from the Internet.
The Internet is still in its infancy yet it has become one of the most frequently used resources for obtaining information of all sorts. From scientific findings to gossip to support groups, it would be difficult to find a topic not represented on the Internet. While there is a wealth of valid information, the Internet has more than an ample supply of erroneous information. Students are one broad group of users who use the Internet for various purposes: to complete assignments, chat with friends, look for jobs, research career options and to seek product information, just to name a few. The purpose of this study was to look at how high school students determine whether information they find on the Internet is valid. Focus groups were used to discover how some students make this evaluation. The study found that while students are aware there is a tremendous volume of worthless information on the Internet along with much valid information, they do not seem to have many tools to help them critically evaluate the information they find. To determine what tools students could use, librarians were contacted and asked for their guidelines on how to discern the gold from the garbage on the Internet. A summary of these techniques is included in this paper. Appendixes include: the focus group report; e-mail inquiry submitted to reference librarians; and online sources for more evaluation tools. (Contains 17 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Thesis, Grand Valley State University.