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  4. Critically evaluate information, online interactions and online tools

Critically evaluate information, online interactions and online tools

Evaluating information is about knowing who and what to trust online. It involves the critical assessment of information, and selecting the right digital tools for a given task. It also includes evaluating online contributions and providing feedback.

On this page you will find examples of online materials that illustrate how this skill area can be taught and learned, with an indication of which level of taught OU study they may be suitable for. This is not intended to be prescriptive, but rather to give a flavour of what is available.



Learning materials

Title of activity  Description   Level     Source   Freely available?  
Using Wikipedia How to distinguish between high and low quality information. 0/1 Being digital Yes
Evaluation using PROMPT Use the 6 PROMPT criteria to evaluate any kind of information. 0/1 Being digital Yes
Using audio visual materials for your studies. How to critically evaluate video sources 1 Library Information Literacy (LIL) OU members only
Evaluating the quality of information How to evaluate a range of resources from books and personal contacts through to websites. 2 Library Information Literacy (LIL) OU members only
Giving critical feedback in an online collaborative environment What makes good feedback, and how to give and receive feedback online. 2 Library Information Literacy (LIL) OU members only

Selecting the right online tools

How to evaluate online tools in any context. 3 Being digital Yes
Evidence-based practice – reading a research paper Critical reading approaches to research papers. 3 Library Information Literacy (LIL) OU members only


Examples from modules

Title of activity  Description   Level     Source   Freely available?  
Assignment on professional learning E100 The Early Years: Developing Practice: for the EMA students are assessed on their reasons for selecting supporting source documents. 1 E100-12J OU members only
Finding out about Christopher Marlowe AA100 The Arts Past and Present: students compare a Library subscription resource to freely available web resources. 1 AA100-13B OU members only
Finding images relating to practical Science S288 Practical science and S294 Cell Biology: students filter the results of their image searches using formal criteria. 2 S288-13B OU members only
Critical evaluation of images DD206 The Uses of Social Science: students find, share then critically evaluate image within a collaborative forum 2 DD206-13J OU members only
Evaluating sources: Oxford Reference and Wikipedia U214 Worlds of English: in Block 2 Unit 10 (Growing up with English) students learn how to evaluate freely available and online Library ebooks, using a Library activity on Evaluating sources. 2 U214-13B OU members only
Compiling a bibliography A327 Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace, Modernity: students are referred to a Library activity on Assessing found material for relevance as part of a literature search. 3 A327-13J OU members only
T313 Study Guide 4: Bioenergy project skills T313 Renewable energy: students are referred to activities on evaluating sources, referencing and avoiding plagiarism. A summary activity brings it all together. 3 T313-13J OU members only