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.

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.

Many websites contain 'biased' information because .......
some people set out to deliberately mislead
the authors have avoided personal opinion
the authors have carefully checked their facts
websites are created by people
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
The quickest way to find a resource on the www is .......
to enter a specific url in the address bar
to get someone else to look for you
to randomly access sites
to use a search engine with a keyword
If you know the url it will take you straight there
Search engines are useful because .......
they always find something interesting to view
they always find what we are searching for
they are free to use
they search millions of websites for what we want to find
The results they produce are not always useful. Remember, you can improve them by using negative keywords and speech marks
Some websites about the same topic have information that is very different. Which of the following is a likely explanation?
Caused because people interpret facts in different ways
This can always be avoided
This is always deliberate
This is usually easy to spot
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
Search engine results can be made more specific by .......
using fewer keywords and linking them with 'and'
using fewer keywords and linking them with 'or'
using phrases in speech marks and negative keywords
using more keywords and linking them with 'or'
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
People rarely check the validity of websites because .......
anti-virus software stops suspicious sites
information on the web is just as reliable as any book
it isn't really necessary these days
validating websites takes longer than just searching
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!
Search engines can create long lists of 'hits'. A hit is .......
a site containing all the information being searched for
a site containing at least one of the keywords entered
a site containing reliable sources of information
a site containing some of the information you require
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
Different search engines .......
always produce different search results
often produce different search results
produce the same results just in a different order
usually produce exactly the same results
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
Which do you think gives the least biased information?
A site ending
A site ending .com
A site ending
A site ending .org
Well at least we hope so as it means that you are visiting an official site of the British government!
When evaluating a website you should .......
not believe anything you read
not trust anything created more than five years ago
think critically about what you view
trust anything written by a teacher
Don't just accept what you see as 'true'. Question it and check it with other sources
Author:  Duncan Daish

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