Monday, September 17, 2007

Journal Review #2: Evaluating public web info

Judd, V. C., Farrow, L. I., & Tims, B. J. (2006). Evaluating public web site information: A process and an instrument. Reference Services Review, 34, 12-32. Retrieved September 22, 2006, from

In an effort to find an evaluation instrument for undergraduate students to use to evaluate public web sites, the authors analyzed the variety of instruments discovered from an intensive literature review and developed an appropriate instrument and its application in workshops with students.

Although a number of diverse evaluation instruments from the literature and from web-based sources were examined, none was deemed suitable for students to use. Based on the literature review and analysis, the authors asserted that the web evaluation instrument should (1) focus exclusively on the information aspect of a web site, (2) have some basis in theory or be based on accepted model, (3) be parsimonious, (4) be quantitative, with both absolute and relative measures, and (5) indicates whether or not the information should be accepted or rejected. Following these criteria, the authors created their own instrument with the goal of focusing on the process rather than the outcome.

The instrument, which included five ten-point scaled questions, was tested through three trials. A group of students were taught how to use it through two workshops. Based on their assessment of the learning environment, the authors concurred that the new instrument met the students’ needs and suggested the focus of an instrument should be on evaluation as a process.

No comments: