Evaluating Web Resources As regular users of the World Wide Web, both for personal and instructional purposes, we all share a concern over the accuracy of information


This Discussion also has two parts. Please respond to both. 

Part 1: Evaluating Web Resources

As regular users of the World Wide Web, both for personal and instructional purposes, we all share a concern over the accuracy of information available on the Internet.  Indeed, one of the Internet’s most powerful and novel features (its ability to provide a world-wide forum for the ideas, opinions and beliefs of anyone with access to a server) can also be one of its biggest liabilities.

Many members of the scientific community have made statements to the effect that scientific information on the Web is often inaccurate, flawed or unreliable.  However, as scientists we are trained to be skeptical of generalizations until we have data to support them.

Many people would argue that a teacher’s most important role is to build/develop a student’s skills in CRITICAL THINKING and CRITICAL READING.  This creates a student who can teach themselves, enabling lifelong learning.

One of the Internet’s potential liabilities (its ability to provide false or inaccurate information at the click of a button) also creates an opportunity to build and reinforce skills in CRITICAL THINKING and CRITICAL READING.

For this week, I want you to do a little web research. Choose a topic, perhaps something like “Smoking and Cancer”. Limit your topics to the sciences. Use your favorite search engine and look at the first several items that come up. For “smoking and cancer” on Google the first item that comes up is a bunch of ads (unfortunately), then this –

Smoking and cancer | Cancer Research UK


Cancer Research UK

Smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer in the world. Smoking account for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths. Quit smoking and reduce your risk.

How smoking causes cancer – ‎Smoking facts and evidence – ‎Passive smoking

On Bing, I get this, after the ads –

  1. smoking causes cancer – National Cancer Institute
    www.cancer.gov › … › Causes and Prevention › Risk Factors › Tobacco
    A fact sheet that lists some of the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke and describes the health problems caused by cigarette smoking and the benefits of …

I want you to look at the article that comes up for your search and evaluate it for suitability of the reference. Use the following questions to guide your conference post.

  • Look at the scope of the article (does it cover the subject appropriately)
  • Who it the targeted to (is it a scholarly article, or is it written for a lay person)
  • The timeliness of the article (is the information current)
  • The authority of the article (who is writing it). 
  • What about the documentation of the article (does it site other good references). 
  • Finally, is the article objective.

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/evaluation.html  This is the reference that inspired these questions and will provide an expanded explanation of the questions. This discussion was inspired by an article on evaluating the accuracy of scientific information on the internet by Dr. Jory Weintraub, as a matter of fact I pulled some of this discussion from Dr. Weintraub’s article.

Part 2: Discussion- Sexual Reproduction

During week 4, cellular division is described for organisms undergoing sexual and asexual reproduction. In addition, the concept of genetic inheritance through Mendel’s work and Morgan’s research on fruit fly are introduced. Answer the following questions on Mitosis, Meiosis, and genetic inheritance.

  1. During the cell cycle, cell progression in that process is tightly regulated. Provide an example of a disorder resulting from errors in Meiosis. Is this disorder inherited? Explain.
  2. There is a database summarizing all genetically inherited disorders. I encourage you to take a look at the database (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition ). It is a great resource. As you browse the database, you may find that most disorders are recessive. Why do you think there are not many dominantly-inherited disorders? (Think about the individual with a dominantly inherited disorder).

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