The Internet, images, and archaeology: a tutorial

6. Evaluation tips

Web sites can be evaluated at two levels: as archaeological publications, and for use in a particular teaching situation.

Evaluating Web sites as publications

Browse through the short collection of online resources available from here (if you have other sites you particularly want to explore, then do so). Consider the following questions as you go through the sites:

1. Are the opportunities offered by the Web (moving images, sound, colour) useful?

2. Are the technological challenges that users face in accessing these resources too high?

3. Archaeological publications can benefit from being online – such as searchable archives and collections, excavation reports and so on. What have you found most beneficial and most infuriating about online publications?

4. Reconstructions, be they of artefacts, structures, with or without people, are extensively used in archaeology. What struck you about the use of reconstructions in the resources you have visited?

5. What textual information would you like to have alongside images?

6. Would you consider helping students to publish on the Web, e.g. creating an exhibition, as a learning and assessment aid?

Evaluating Web sites for teaching

Choose one of the Web sites from the list of online resources. Consider the following questions:

1. Could your students view all parts of this Web site, and navigate their way around it without problems?
(These could be due to poor IT abilities, lack of available computers, plug-in problems, time and more).

2. Does the Web site contain features to support users?
(E.g. help pages, chronological charts, maps, bibliographies, links to sources of plug-ins, glossaries of terms.)

3. Is the site's content authoritative and reliable? Can any hidden assumptions, ambiguities or contradictions be detected?

4. Context – what additional information would students need in order to make best use of the Web site?

5. What changes would you have to make to your teaching preparation and delivery practices in order to incorporate online resources? (Assuming you have found some excellent Web pages.)
(You could consider different teaching situations, such as formal lectures, tutorials, provision of general course information.)

6. How would these issues differ if you were introducing the Web site to a group of 1st years, 2nd/3rd years, postgraduates?


Last updated: Wed Aug 21 2002

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