Skip to content The Open University
  1. Home
  2. Evaluating information

Evaluating information


This section will direct you to resources which explain what 'quality' means in relation to information. They will show techniques to evaluate the information you find in a structured way.

Being digital activities

Deciding what to trust online (5 minutes)
This activity will help you to know what questions to ask to judge the accuracy and reliability of information you find online.
Deciding who to trust online (5 minutes)
People are not always what they seem to be. In this activity we look at the questions to ask of people you meet online in order to judge whether they are trustworthy.
Evaluation using PROMPT (5 minutes)
Introduces the PROMPT criteria which you can use to evaluate information from any source.
Filtering information quickly (10 minutes)
Strategies for fast filtering of results when searching the web.
Scams and hoaxes (5 minutes)
This activity helps you to spot some of the signs of scams and hoaxes and avoid getting taken in.
Scanning and skimming a web page (10 minutes)
Learn how to use techniques that will help you to find information quickly when you are dealing with large amounts of text.
Selecting the right online tools (5 minutes)
Learn how to select the right online tool with confidence.
Social networking: is it for me? (10 minutes)
Decide if social networking is for you, and select the most approriate networking site.
Using Wikipedia (5 minutes)
Many of us use Wikipedia to find out information, but how far can you trust it? This activity provides some guidelines to help you approach it with discernment..

Library activities (requires an OUCU)

Finding images and copyright (Level 2: 1 hour)
How to find and use images ethically and legally for your academic studies.
Quick evaluation of websites (Level 1: 15 minutes)
Provides an overview of the "Who–Why–When" quick method of evaluating websites and introduces a more detailed framework for assessing information.
Evaluating the quality of information (Level 2: 1 hour)
Understand what is meant by ‘the quality of information’ and evaluate the quality of information.
Using social media for research (Level 2: 30 to 40 minutes)
Introduces a range of social media tools and helps you decide which to use to support your studies.
Evaluating websites (Level 3: 45 minutes to 1 hour)
Introduces the PROMPT mnemonic to help you critically evaluate information in a structured way.
Developing critical reading (Level 3: 20 minutes)
Learn how to critically read academic material, focusing on academic journal articles.
Keeping up-to-date (Level 3: 30 minutes)
Provides an overview of how to keep up to date in your subject area.

Futher activities

Finding information for your assignment (1 hour)
Guidance on the key steps in finding information for your assignment.

Original Safari content

If you would like to access the original Safari content, please download the PDF below. Please note that this is archive material, and may not be up-to-date.
Original Safari content: Evaluating information