Web Site Evaluation Project

 

Small Group Project 2

The ABC's of Web Site Evaluation

Based on the article by Kathy Schrock.


As a group, we decided to check two separate sites:  District and The American School in Japan Middle School and Henry County School System. These were chosen because they are sites that are familiar to two of the members of the group, who are charged with maintaining them. The ASIJ Middle School site is actually a subweb of the main site, but stands on its on.

The American School in Japan

Authority:
The American School in Japan Middle School Web site. Their is a mail link to “mswebmaster”, and the principal is identified in the Principals' page.
Bias:
Biased towards the school, but as it is not an informational site, it doesn't matter as much.
Citations:
Although the photograph on the main page is not cited, photos within the “image gallery” area are cited.
Dates:
Dates are included on must pages, and the top pages show fairly recent modifications, including the current day. However, deeper down some of the pages haven't been touched in a while.
Efficiency:
The home page has numerous graphics on it, requiring 21 separate connections, including the ones downloaded for the JavaScript.
Graphics:
The site has numerous graphics, but none seem to be inappropriate for Middle School students.
Handicapped Access:
Yes, it would work with a screen reader, although it would be slow and cumbersome. However, the photographs do not have embedded descriptions, other than “click for a larger image”. There are captions below the pictures, but because of the tables it's not obvious that the captions and pictures would be read at the same time.
Jerry-built:
Although there are occasional typographic errors, it seems fairly well planned. However, the links off the main page sometimes go to pages that clash with the theme of the site. The colors need fine tuning as there is quite a contrast between visited and unvisited hyperlinks, which leads to a page looking like it has a rash if only a few links are visited. Pictures on the Image Gallery pages are of different heights and sizes, leading to a non-uniform look. Pictures on the home page are not uniform in size. Two levels down the theme to the site is basically lost, but also each subsite is built by different groups or people, and some students. Maybe the web site should have such a disclaimer. There is no one contact page on the site, just the webmaster email.
Knowledge:
It seems to indicate that the site points to a real Middle School.
Misinformation 1:
N/A
Misinformation 2:
N/A
Navigability:
Not really. It's not clear, for example, where coursework is, where you would find out information about extracurricular activities.
Pertinent:
Yes, if I want to find out about the web site.
Scholastic Reviews:
The top level page for the entire school (http://www.asij.ac.jp/)  has an award from Technology & Learning Magazine, but the write-up is only a paragraph. Ironically, Kathy Schrock is on the advisory board for the magazine.
Uniqueness:
Unique in that it covers the Middle School.
Xtra Information:
N/A
Yahoo:
No search engine, which makes it hard to find anything that is more than a couple of levels deep.

Henry County School System

Authority:
The school is identified, and the director of the schools is identified.
Bias:
Biased towards the school, but as it is not an informational site, it doesn't matter as much.
Citations:
No obvious citations, although it is apparent that official policies are official policies.
Dates:
No dates are included, but the photographs would indicate that it was updated fairly recently.
Efficiency:
Home page is very efficient and all parts can be downloaded in one set (four) of simultaneous connections. The picture is fairly well optimized, although it can be optimized further but with loss of quality. Further optimization would have only a few seconds effect on download time. (Barb, FYI, the left image is the original, at 17,411 bytes and the right is 6,789 bytes, but notice the extra artifacts, especially around the kids faces.)
Graphics:
The graphics are appropriate, and the ones checked seemed to be well optimized.
Handicapped Access:
Yes, it would work with a screen reader, although it would be slow and cumbersome. However, the photographs do not have embedded descriptions. There are captions below the pictures, but it's not obvious that the captions and pictures would be read at the same time.
Jerry-built:
There is a theme to the site, but some of the more recent pages don't match the theme.
Knowledge:
The site points to a school district.
Misinformation 1:
N/A
Misinformation 2:
N/A
Navigability:
The links off the main page are clear, but a page down it is a little murky as pages get away from the theme.
Pertinent:
Yes, if I want to find out about the school district.
Scholastic Reviews:
N/A
Uniqueness:
Unique in that it covers the School District, but it's not clear how the site for the board policies fit in.
Xtra Information:
N/A
Yahoo:
No search engine, which makes it hard to find anything that is more than a couple of levels deep.

 

Created Fall, 2001

Last maintained 11/15/2003

   

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