Volume 6

Volume 6, Number 24

February 28, 2008

8 pages358 K bytes

Teaching Students How to Evaluate Sources in Online Research

Christie D. Willison
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock, PA 16057 USA

Patricia A. Joseph
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock, PA 16057 USA

Abstract: Technology is constantly changing and there are new problems that result from these changes. The problems of most common concern are hacking, pirating, and exploitation, just to name a few. However, aside from the criminal problems, other problems are beginning to gain more attention. One such problem is that of online research. Most professional researchers are well aware of the risks and the precautions that should be taken to avoid using invalid, unreliable sources or plagiarizing another’s work, especially when using the Internet for research. However, every year thousands of students across the United States are completing research papers in high school and college without giving any thought to the idea of plagiarism or the use of invalid sources. These students search the Internet for convenient sources and never realize that the very sources that are helping them could have been created by someone who does not have any credibility on the subject of their research. Students need to be taught how to conduct online research properly and to evaluate sources for credibility due to the growing overall number of Internet sources being used for research, both credible and otherwise. This paper addresses this pedagogical problem in detail and offers suggestions for information systems educators who must teach research methods to their students at the secondary and tertiary levels.

Keywords: pedagogy, Internet, online research, ethics, information systems education

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Recommended Citation: Willison and Joseph (2008). Teaching Students How to Evaluate Sources in Online Research. Information Systems Education Journal, 6 (24). http://isedj.org/6/24/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2007: §3123. ISSN: 1542-7382.)