[Air-l] Untrusted Web Sources

Jennifer Stromer-Galley jstromer at albany.edu
Thu Sep 21 09:32:29 PDT 2006

I know we've discussed Wikipedia on the list before - especially as it
pertains to use by students as a source in research papers. But, I just want
to pick up on what Bonnie wrote, as it's been on my mind a lot lately:
> In my experience, today's students are immersed in the Internet and 
> they won't skip over Wikipedia just because a teacher tells them it's 
> not reliable. The problem is more likely to be that they rely only on 
> Wikipedia and don't dig deeper, even when Wikipedia tells 
> them where to 
> dig.

I'm teaching an Web literacy course this semester, and my students have
become, well, brainwashed by other faculty that Wiki or really *any* source
one gets off the Web is not to be trusted. Some students report that faculty
tell them they may not use any Web-discovered or Web-published information
in their papers.

I find this attitude towards Web-based information resources deeply
problematic, and am trying to break students of this "Web Info BAD"

I am curious if others of you who are teaching students find this mentality
in their students and where it seems to be coming from? 

I can't help but wonder if faculty just establish a "Thou Shalt Not Use Web
Sources" in their assignments, rather than try to talk with students about
determining the quality and crediblity of information they find online or
offline [besides, why should we think that information we find in other
media is somehow more credible . . . .]


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