Today we can access the internet and work online easily thanks to developments in technology. Our lives are made more convenient by the internet. However, not all of the information found online is trustworthy. Some information is inaccurate or even deliberately misleading. For example, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission showed the number of reported online shopping scams increased 65% in 2012 (2013). Therefore, it is very important to evaluate the credibility of information found on the internet.
According to Fogg (2003), credibility is composed of two factors: trustworthiness and expertise. Trustworthiness captures the perceived morality of the source, accomplished by the perception that a source is fair or perceived similarities. Expertise is the perceived knowledge, skill, and experience of the source, and this is achieved by profession, appearance cues, and documentation of accomplishments.
This discussion is also important for students. In academic writing, all students are required to think critically and support their opinions with credible sources. Thus, it is vital for students to select only credible information. Walsh (2013) also explains the importance of evaluating credibility by saying ‘I can recall many instances where students would stress out about how to cite an online source;… but, the more important issue was to determine whether the source was worth citing in the first place’. Thus, evaluation of websites is essential for students and their academic work.
Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122‐125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 147‐181). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Online shopping scams: Don’t let them wreck your Christmas (n.d). Retrieved from http://learn.nab.com.au/online-shopping-scams-dont-let-them-wreck-your-christmas/
Walsh, K. (2012). The Importance of Source Evaluation and Content Credibility Skills for Today’s Students. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/05/the-importance-of-source-evaluation-and-content-credibility-skills-for-todays-students/