Earlier today Ana Lúcia Terra presented on Strategies to Assess Web Resources Credibility: Results of a Case Study in Primary and Secondary Schools from Portugal, a paper co-authored with Salvina Sáthe, at the European Conference on Information Literacy.
She started by talking about different models of web credibility assessment, variously concentrating on authors, affiliation, comparison with other sources etc. The authors produced an omline questionnaire, administered in 7 schools in the Oporto district of Portugal; there were 195 respondents, aged between 11 and 19. They asked them about what criteria the students used in evaluating websites. The top criterion was "Ease of navigating the website" (chosen by 76%), the 2nd was "appealing design", 3rd was "Information about last update", then "author is identified" (chsoen by 19%), finally "there is music I like" (respondents could choose 2 items).
In another question, 33% students stated they looked for identification of the author in a website. 62% said that did know that author name was an important element to consider, with email and Facebook contacts also considered useful. 79% of students said they considered website originality, whilst 84% said they assessed website design (for example looking for information in thematic blocks, and correct grammar and spelling). The authors hope to use the results to plan training in evaluation.