History Learning Site

When critically evaluating the usefulness of a website it is vital to consider specific details which show its creditability as a source. The History Learning Site offers a wide range of historical material dating from the Romans to World War Two, however this can not be considered a valuable source of knowledge due to the wide range of material being malnourished so to speak.  As the pages have a lot of content of general global history it lacks in depth analysis, and further detailed referencing to further enhance the creditability of the research. Also to note the pages also have information on specific history courses, like Advanced A-Level. This can also be problematic as it restricts the sites content to the ability of the course, i.e. if it is Advanced A-Level than it will have information aimed at the grade requirements for that specific course, which may also help the viewer but fail in acting as a credible source to reference from. [1]

Another issue with this site relates back to the Author himself, Chris Trueman taught history at secondary school level, however he did graduate with a BA degree in History, the website states that Chris ‘wrote much of the content for the site from his in-depth knowledge of History’ this sort of material also highlights a key flaw in the creditability of the website, as much of the pages have no referencing at all which suggests as quoted Trueman wrote much of the information from he’s general knowledge on the subjects. This can therefore not be credited as a good website source for others to safely learn and reference from as Trueman has not supported the documents with valid evidence to show us where the source is coming from, so how do we know the information is correct?

A last issue with the site is that after Truemans death in 2013, the websites development was then continued as stated on the site by Truemans ‘niece and nephew and a team of history graduates’ as this is all the information given to the viewer how do we know they are qualified to be inputing historical data onto the site for others to learn from? This complicates the development of the site as we do not know who the niece and nephew are and therefore cannot accept the site as a credible source as they are not credible historians with proven knowledge in the field they are writing about. Which was even an issue with Trueman, as he was teaching at secondary level and used no sign of referencing in his work, the site cannot be considered a valuable source. However, the fact that Trueman was a secondary school teacher is not the reason the site fails in its creditability, it is more down to the fact that the site is too broad in its content to offer any in depth analysis on historical matter and that the quantity of material offered lacks any sign of referencing, which is why it has resulted as a poor site for historical research. Furthermore, the lack of any credentials claiming the information as their own which fails us to link the information back to any person who can be trusted can ralate back to the Pirate Hoax Scandal, as theres no credential owner for the information.[2]

[1]Joe Barker, ‘Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask’, UC Berkeley – Teaching Library Internet Workshops, (1995) http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html

(Accessed, 28th April 2015)

[2]Jennifer Howard, “Teaching by Lying: Professor Unveils ‘Last Pirate’ Hoax”, Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library, (2008). http://lastamericanpirate.net

(Accessed, 28th April 2015)