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Web Evaluation & Lateral Reading Integration Kit

Overview

Providing instruction on web evaluation will help your students select web-based resources that are appropriate for college level research. Students tend to give more weight to the visual appearance of websites instead of more reliable markers of authority like the reputation of the website or the author’s credentials and experience.  Most have been taught to examine the website itself to determine its credibility.  Recent research tells us that this is not the best way to measure the quality of a web-based resource. 

In this lesson, students will use lateral reading to assess the quality of a website.  After an introduction to the concept of lateral reading, students will work in pairs to complete an online worksheet.  

Learning Objective:  

  • Students will use lateral reading techniques to assess the credibility of a web source. 

A librarian can come to your class to run this lesson for you, or a librarian can customize a lesson for your class based around your unit of study or assignment requirements. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.

If you prefer to cover this information literacy topic on your own, you will find all the plans and materials you need below.

Class Materials

Lateral reading is a web evaluation technique that requires the reader to investigate a source without relying on the source itself.  Traditional web evaluation practices ask the reader to examine specific details about a site to determine its reliability.  Lateral reading involves moving away from the site to discover what other sources are saying about it.  In this activity students will be introduced to the concept of lateral reading and have an opportunity to practice lateral reading techniques with a partner.