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The WWWDOT Approach to Improving Students’ Critical Evaluation of Websites


  • Shenglan Zhang,

  • Nell K. Duke,

  • Laura M. Jiménez


This article introduces a framework designed to improve students' awareness of the need to critically evaluate websites as sources of information and to improve their skill at doing so. The framework, called the WWWDOTframework, encourages students to think about at least six dimensions when evaluating a website: (1) Who wrote this and what credentials do they have? (2) Why was it written? (3) When was it written and updated? (4) Does this help meet my needs? (5) Organization of website; (6) To do list for the future. In an experimental study, fourth- and fifth-grade students who were taught this framework became more aware than control group students of the need to evaluate information on the Internet for credibility and were better able to evaluate the trustworthiness of websites on multiple dimensions. This article describes the framework and how it can be taught through a series of four 30-minute lessons. Suggestions and materials for teaching are provided.