Lesson 2: Developing a Website Evaluation Tool
The purpose of this assignment is to challenge, test and ultimately come
to general agreement on evaluation criteria for websites. This exercise is
student driven, but don't be surprised if your teacher offers some guidance
along the way.
At the completion of this exercise:
- you will have developed a website evaluation tool as a way to critically examine the quality of websites.
- you will have developed experience documenting and sharing your ideas
what makes a high-quality website.
Develop a website evaluation tool. Use the knowledge and perspective gained in Lesson 1 to develop a rubric for measuring the quality of websites. Follow these steps:
- Pair up and take five minutes to share and discuss the merits and problems
of two sites each from the activity in the
previous lesson. One site should be a clear example
of good design and one an example of poor design. Discuss specific traits
that could be used to evaluate sites.
- On a piece of notebook paper write down the URL's of the four sites
for each person) that have positive and negative traits and turn it in
to the instructor.
- Join another pair and now, in a group of four, review your lists of
were generated in step one. Synthesize the lists to no fewer than four
more than seven general traits that could be used to evaluate most any web
site. As much as possible, make each trait discrete and clear. Combine
traits. Eliminate redundant, obtuse, or invalid traits.
- Once you reach consensus on the traits, decide on a numeric scale
to use for judging
how well a website rates for each of the traits.
- Brainstorm a list of descriptors that define major point values on the numeric
scale. What does a high score, a low score look like?
Now that you have all the components for the evaluation rubric, sketch the
complete evaluation rubric with a marker on butcher paper. Write boldly and large enough for others to read from a distance. Your poster (evaluation tool) will be displayed on a wall.
- Each person in your group will now individually use this evaluation rubric
to evaluate the following site: www.cheese.com. It is important that you evaluate
the site without collaboration or discussion.
- After all members have had enough time to evaluate, compare how your group
members scored www.cheese.com with each
If someone in the group rated a trait radically different from the rest, ask
them to explain why. Can the group persuade the radical, or the
persuade the group? Is a compromise necessary? Try to reach a consensus score for each trait. Does the tool need to be changed somehow to make it more useful?
Decide on a reporter or spokesperson. Display your poster. Have the
spokesperson share with the rest of the class how well your group's evaluation tool worked when applied to cheese.com.
- As a class, synthesize the various evaluation tools into a
single rubric. Find what traits are most commonly used. Sometimes groups refer to the same trait using different terminology, so the class must agree on what term to use (a groups' shared understanding of a term is called nomenclature).
Great! Proceed to the next lesson.
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