Website Evaluations


           One thing that a college student spends a lot of time doing is surfing the web. Whether it is for looking up information for a research paper, emailing, or just playing games so the student can be easily distracted and procrastinate some more on their work. The amount of time someone spends on a website will depend on a few different areas. These areas include their creativity, organization, their graphics, and how informative the site is. These areas are also the subjects that can be used when trying to evaluate a website. Each area serves its own purpose and each area can be used to determine and rate a website.

            When someone clicks on a website and comes to the homepage, the first thing that is noticed is the sites creativity and appeal. If a website is creative it will grab the attention of the researcher and make it more appealing to them. If it is appealing enough the person will continue to use this website in the future and may even recommend the site to a friend saying how useful and entertaining it was. If the website has no creativity than it becomes less appealing and the person may lose focus with the site. Another topic that goes with creativity is the graphics and media that go along with it. People like flashy and entertaining sites, if there are charts, pictures, and sounds it helps keep the focus and keep the person entertained. For research purposed charts, pictures, and sounds help to put the information into a visual and might help explain a difficult topic. Also many people will agree that people are attracted to color. If different colors are used on a website it catches the eye of the surfers.

            Another area that helps with every aspect of life is organization. If a person is organized, than most times they will have an easier time with things than un-organized individuals. The same thing goes for websites, if a website is organized it makes searching easier and more appealing to the person surfing the site. When a website is considered to be excellent when it comes to organization, it is separated into specific categories and even has links that help the researcher with what they are looking for. Along with organization also comes information. When evaluating a website one important topic to consider is how informative it is. The best websites that are used for research will have information that is clearly displayed and have information that is cited from professional documents. Websites that are less dependable may have some information, but the information will not have any sources and may be opinions instead of facts. One last topic that can be used when evaluating a website is whether or not the site gets its point across. The last thing a person wants when trying to research a certain topic is to be forwarded to something irrelevant. A person knows they have found a good website when they get all their questions answered and they clearly understand the topic.

            There are many different areas that can be judged when trying to decide how good a website is. The list presented here are only a few important areas that I believe are useful and the most beneficial when trying to evaluate a website. When trying to develop a rubric on how to evaluate a website it is mostly opinionated in what that person looks for in a site. Developing a rubric is an excellent way of learning how to use internet sites because it helps the person differentiate between useful and non-useful ones.


My Website Evaluation Rubric:

Creativity/Appeal

            Excellent – The website keeps the attention of the surfer. After the information is found the person continues to search the site for their own enjoyment. The site is even recommended to others for its creativity and will be used again. There are

            Good-  The person stays on the website until the information is found and then is finished. The appeal is minimal and might be used for future reference.

            Poor- The person reaches the homepage and is not interested in searching for information. The site looks boring and plain.

 

Graphics/Media

            Excellent- The site contains charts, pictures, sound to entertain the person

            Good- There are minimal charts, pictures, or sound. Site does not contain all three.

            Poor- The site is plain and contains no type of chart, picture, or sound to entertain the person searching.

 

Organization

            Excellent- The information is clearly organized in separate categories. There are plenty of links to help the researcher search for what they are looking for. Each link clearly describes what it contains.

            Good- The person searches for a minimal amount of time before finding what they are looking for. There are not to many categories or links

            Poor- No information can be found while searching. There are no links or the links do not work.

 

Informative

            Excellent- Information is clearly displayed. There are citations and references that make the information dependable. The site contains valuable and useful information.

            Good- There is some information presented. The information contains some facts, some areas seem opinionated.

            Poor- All information seems to be opinionated. There is little or no information available for the topic.

 

Does it get the point across?

            Excellent- Shows the information on the topic it advertises. Educates on specific areas.

            Good- Information helps understand the topics. The links send the person elsewhere.

            Poor- The site if off-topic. It advertises one subject but shows another.

         


 
The websites that I used when developing a rubric are all sites that I had great experience with in my undergraduate field of athletic training. I think that all three of them cover most of the areas of research and can be used in educating others.
 

www.nata.org

            This site stands for national athletic trainers association. When you first come to the websites homepage it is clearly organized on the left side panel for who wants to use this site. There are sections for students, members, and even job seekers. As a student I researched this website many times when trying to learn exactly what an athletic trainer does and where they are used. It also has a side quick links section for easier search options. If someone is looking for a job this website makes it easier to search all over the country by separating the search into states and types of jobs. It contains featured videos and also has quizzes to help further educate about the profession. I believe this is a great website and look forward to using it when I hopefully get to teach others about the athletic training field some day.

www.ncaa.org

            Another popular site in my undergraduate education was ncaa.org. It may only seem like a site that just deals with college sports, but once you search it deals with so much more. The site is organized in a way where it separates into the different college athletic levels (division I, II, III). I also used this site many times when researching different laws and regulations, athletic eligibility, and drug testing procedures. The site contains media features such as videos and also has forms that are very useful for athletes. It contains interesting topics such as statistics for populations of schools and even injury stats for every body part, sport, and gender.

 www.physsportsmed.com

            This last site I used many times and it is a site full of journal articles for research. It is a profession journal that is published monthly and contains numerous research articles and facts that are cited by professionals. This is a great site that can be used when trying to teach students how to look for proper material on the internet when trying to find sources for research purposes. The journals are organized into separate months and past years making it easy to find. Different articles can also be searched on specific areas so thousands of articles do not have to be looked through when trying to find one topic. 


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