I have little doubt that you frequently hear about problems, such as the poor quality and accuracy of information, and the information overload on the Web. About the information overload, sources below (#1 and #2) will give balanced perspectives (they say overload is a ‘wrong’ perspective. #3 and #4 clarify that the major innovations for the next generation of the Web are driven by ‘post-filtering’ and search algorithms (to improve search effectiveness and efficiency). On Monday and Wednesday, everyone will compare two different search procedures for his/her own topic of interests – online library database search vs. Web search (e.g., using Google search, Google scholar, YouTube, Slideshare.net, or professional association web site). Then on Wednesday, you will do a scavenger hunt to find and improve a rubric to evaluate the quality of retrieved search results using Rubistar (last resource on the list below). The goal is to learn how to find quality information when you have a topic that you don’t know much, and how to evaluate the quality of such sources retrieved.
As a class, it will be also very useful to brainstorm which filtering (e.g., like, # of views, tags, rating, indices, impact factor, selection of reactions on Slashdot.org, etc.) exist and how it has evolved to deal with information quality/overload, and how they shape/influence/affect “authority” or “expertise”. If you like challenges, I like to state that some sees the next generation Web will focus more on managing exploding information and do quality control (Artificial Intelligence and algorithms are major drivers). If you think about location-based searches/services or community/group based organization (e.g., on facebook), these are all to make information management and learning more effective.
Your comment by Sunday midnight should answer how Web search vs. traditional (online or on-campus) library search compare in terms of quality, effectiveness, and convenience, and how the quality/accuracy should be evaluated.
- We’re on information overload by Thomas Washington.
- “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure” by Clay Shirky. A little under 24 minutes. The problem of information overload, different perspectives can reveal positive aspects of abundant participants: Cognitive Surplus (by Clay Shirky, 13 min, and Captcha project: Massive-scale Online Collaboration by Luis von Ahn, 16 min)
- Tips for Handling Information Overload: Too Much Content by Dawn Foster (with Google Reader is gone as the most popular RSS tool, alternatives can be found here).
- The Chronicle of Higher Ed: The New Metrics of Scholarly Authority by Michael Jensen for subscribers only. For an earlier and freely available version, see Authority 2.0 and 3.0: The Collision of Authority and Participation in Scholarly Communications by Michael Jensen.
- The iPad and Information’s Third Age by William Rankin
Items 1~3 are information organization tools that allow browser customization. Zotero compares to a 3rd party citation tool called Endnote. Anytime you do online search, you can create a summary note. Rubistar is a great tool to create an evaluation/grading rubric. If you ever need to create a rubric to evaluate products or processes, it is a great, free, and easy to use tool.
- Netvibes – personalized dashboard publishing platform for the Web
- Protopage also allows to create a personalized homepage
- Zotero – A tool that helps gather, organize, and analyze sources and then share the results of your research
- Rubistar – A free evaluation rubric builder with a search feature (if you create a web or information search task, and trainees or students create artifacts (list of useful sources, summary of sources, etc., you would want to evaluate their work. Don’t reinvent the same wheel, chance is, if your topic is popular, Rubistar might have something you can adopt and even contribute. WebQuest is the most popular activity in K12 (sort of scavenger hunt and evaluation of the source).