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This essay will discuss how my use of online information has grown from being merely a consumer, to now being able to critically evaluate online sources for credibility and suitability for use in academic work. My role in producing an online informational resource has been enhanced by both the readings, and the experience gained in the collaborative process involved in working as a team. This is my first experience at online collaboration and I will examine the challenges encountered using this medium of communication, how I dealt with them, the lessons learned, and what I would do differently during future collaborative work.
Before this course, my experience with online sources of information had been limited to an observer status, and although I had read from a variety of sources online, and considered myself capable of sorting truth from fiction, I had never realised the extent to which information can and should be evaluated. A study conducted by Scholz-Crane 1998 (cited in Metzger, 2007, pp. 2080-2081) explains that a lax attitude toward proving the accuracy and credibility of websites is prevalent among college students. This information has encouraged me to be more critical in regard to information found on the web, and I now apply the criteria espoused by Tate, (2010, pp. 35-36) of checking for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage. According to Treise et al (2003, cited in Cronin, 2007) sites in the .gov domain are considered more credible than those in the .com domain. As I have always considered it healthy to be critical of information emanating from government sources, it was interesting to discover that Cronin (2007) refutes this perspective, disclosing the fact that 47 percent of authors use the .com domain in their citations. Using this information to inform my decisions in choosing credible sources for my group’s online...

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