KS3 ICT Quiz
Information (Reliability, Validity and Bias) 02
The quickest way to find a resource on the world wide web is to enter a specific url in the address bar.

Information (Reliability, Validity and Bias) 02

This KS3 ICT quiz is our second look at the reliability and validity of information. You use a search engine to find websites related to your topic. There are a lot of different search engines but most people use just one! A search engine uses software that automatically visits websites and 'reads' their contents. The information is then stored in the search engine's database. When someone types a query into a search engine, its software looks through the database and finds which sites are related to the query. It then uses a set of instructions to automatically decide which of the sites are the most relevant from the hundreds of millions contained in its database.

Search engine software tries to understand what you are looking for. It has no intelligence and so the results are not always useful. When searching, there are several different techniques you can use to get better results.

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If you want to find a site about data validation software, if you place the phrase within speech marks, most search engines will then find any sites that contain the exact phrase. Any words that you don't want to see can be removed from the results by adding the minus sign e.g. -USA would tell the search engine not to show you sites containing 'USA'. Using these negative keywords can make your searches produce much better results.

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  1. Search engines are useful because .......
    The results they produce are not always useful. Remember, you can improve them by using negative keywords and speech marks
  2. Search engine results can be made more specific by .......
    Remember, putting a minus sign in front of a keyword (with no gap between the word and the sign) will hide results that contain it
  3. People rarely check the validity of websites because .......
    It is much easier to copy and paste from a website than to make a few notes, compare the information with other sites and cross-reference what you have learnt. Copying and pasting is NOT learning!
  4. The quickest way to find a resource on the www is .......
    If you know the url it will take you straight there
  5. Different search engines .......
    It is always useful to use three or four different search engines to help you to find the information you require. On the Internet, NEVER rely on a single source of information as it is quite possible that it could be unreliable
  6. When evaluating a website you should .......
    Don't just accept what you see as 'true'. Question it and check it with other sources
  7. Search engines can create long lists of 'hits'. A hit is .......
    A keyword being found does not mean success! Search engines have no intelligence and so you need to use yours to find the sites on which the keywords are actually relevant to what you are seeking
  8. Some websites about the same topic have information that is very different. Which of the following is a likely explanation?
    In most situations, there are at least two different ways of looking at things. Only when there are no alternative explanations, do you have a real 'fact'. No-one could dispute for example that the Atlantic Ocean lies between the USA and Britain so it is definitely a fact
  9. Which do you think gives the least biased information?
    Well at least we hope so as it means that you are visiting an official site of the British government!
  10. Many websites contain 'biased' information because .......
    It is very difficult to be completely objective and to avoid having your own views and beliefs influence what you write. A few people do set out to mislead others but the majority of bias on the Internet seems to be because of human nature

Author: Duncan Daish

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