Virginia Montecino

George Mason University
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Group Project - Exploring the WEB Culture in your Major 

The Internet has become a valuable resource for information in various disciplines. To help you become familar with Internet information in your major, you will (in your designated groups) explore some of the Internet sites and the Internet culture that relates to your major and write a collaborative report. 

Each person in your group can select one WEB site with various hypertext links, or a few sites, depending upon the substance of the material). If the site you choose has a significant amount of information, you can pick representative samplings of information to deal with in detail and give a general overview of what is covered. You will analyze the information and graphics on the Web sites, write a collaborative report on your findings (plus an informal individual report - TO BE INCLUDED IN YOUR PORTFOLIO), telling me your contribution to the project). You may decide to explore some of the sites on Lynx and some on a graphical user interface like Netscape and observe the differences in presentation and how that affects your interpretation of and understanding of the data. You may also want to explore the differences in ease of use, advantages/ disadvantages of each method. 

Though not required, it would be great if you could post your project on a Web page and I will make links to them in our hypertext course syllabus. One HTML document is all you need, posted on one member's page, with links to the other group members' pages, if they have them. I suggest making copies of the hypertext document on a floppy and give a copy to everyone in the group, plus me. This way, all group members could have a portable Web page that could for example, be viewed with Netscape via the "open a file" option. In this way we could view all the projects at our last meeting whether the projects were put on a Web page or not. 

On a separate page, at the end of your report list everyone in the group and what sites (including the full title of the site and the URL address) he or she researched. 

At the beginning of your group report, list the URL address of each site and include a brief summary of the content of the sites. 

Questions to address when writing your report: 

  1. What are the themes and URLs of the Web sites? 
  2. What are the various categories of information listed under the URL addresses?
  3. Who are the audiences for these sites? What clues define the audiences?
  4. What are the hypertext links on that "page"? How do the various links relate to the main theme?
  5. What kinds of graphics are on the sites? Describe them in detail. How do they relate to the topics? Are the graphics designed to grab your attention? If so, explain. Do the graphics support text information or do they stand alone? Who are the various audiences for these graphics? What are your clues?
  6. You may not be familiar with the institutions, organizations, or individuals who sponsor or who contributed information to the sites (and this is also true with traditional text sources), but what clues do you have about the credibility of the sites and information? From what institutions or organizations do the sites originate? 
  7. Make some general observations about what you learned from exploring these sites - What did you learn about your discipline through exploring the Internet sources? What general observations you can make about the usefulness and value of the information you found on the Internet (while aware of the fact that you have not covered all possible sites - only a sampling).
Check out these resources on Critiquing the Web

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