Designing Effective Projects : Teaching Thinking
Example of Teaching Thinking in the Senior / FET Phase Classroom

Teaching Thinking to Senior / FET Phase Learners
Thinking Skills Mini-Lesson: Determining the Credibility of an Internet Source

“Everyone knows that all kinds of information can be found on the Internet. Some sites may look authentic yet contain bad information, while others, may be less flashy but prove to be a valuable resource. Here are some steps you can follow to help determine how credible a website is. I’m going to model following these steps with the website,*"

1. Read the URL carefully. Look for edu, gov, org, or com.

This URL has a “com” in it so that means it is a business. That means it’s probably biased because they’re going to try to sell me something.

2. Look for links such as, About Us, History, or Mission, that tell you about the organization behind the website.   The History button says that this company is headed by a person with Ph.D.s in physical and biomolecular chemistry, but it doesn’t say where she got her degree. She was a marketing director for a chemical company. That makes me wonder if this is more about marketing than science. The page also says that they moved from the Bahamas to where cloning is legal, but it doesn’t say where they are now. That sounds pretty suspicious.
3. Look for the last update. The only thing I can find that’s anything like a date is a letter to UN representatives of the 59th General Assembly which is 2004-2005, I think. I don’t see any dates on any other information.
4. Look for links and documentation of information.

There is a lot of information that sounds scientific, but I don’t see any place that tells where this information comes from.

              “Now I’d like you to look at one of the following two websites and discuss them with a partner using the four steps.”**
The teacher coaches learners as they look at the websites and evaluate them. After a few minutes, they discuss how the process worked for them.

The teacher asks:
“How did the steps work for you? Did you come to a conclusion about the site from thinking about those topics? Did you change the steps at all to make them work better for your site? When might you use this strategy?”


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