Thursday, September 29, 2005

What’s your Web IQ?

YOU could be a math whiz or be brilliant at phonetics. But if you haven’t mastered the art of ‘click, copy, paste’, you may as well give up. Internationally, students are now being judged on their ability to utilise the Internet to its fullest while doing projects. It’s called Web IQ, and looks at how well a student can choose and utilise the right facts from the sea of information on the Web.

In fact, administrators abroad say Web IQ is as important as mathematics and English skills, and reflects critical thinking ability. They’re even creating a test to evaluate Net intelligence, measuring if students can locate and verify reliable online information.

In Bangalore, most students are encouraged to use the Web for their projects. But not all do the job right. Anjali Sharma, fashion and design department head at a city college says the Net is a fantastic source of information. “But what to choose is an art students haven’t mastered yet. Students go to a search engine, type in the key words and take data from the first two sites that pop up,” she says. A recent project on an international designer’s profile, left Sharma surprised. “Many students hadn’t bothered to change the tense; URLs weren’t deleted. The biggest giveaway is language; when I see flowery language, I know it’s not their own!” Biotech student Kunal Shah only uses the Net for projects. “I use the Web for research and I’ve learnt a lot from it.” Yet, others in his college, still aren’t able to choose the right stuff. “Most search engines give you tons of info. I did a project on musician Kurt Cobain recently and took info off the Net, modified it and published it in my college journal,” says Kunal. He adds that some students, who did a project on the cloning of Dolly, found a famous thesis posted online and submitted it under their name. “It’s a talent to be able to do it right.” If you don’t, you get graded B, says BA student Aradhana Jaisingh. “We had to do a 1,000-word project and students who didn’t pick out relevant information got a B.” She feels being able to find the right info online comes with time. “In our college, you get a zero for direct lifting. You have to cut, paste and edit.” If a student can’t do it, it’s the duty of the professor to tell him how, says media studies lecturer John J Kennedy. “I do it and I recommend other professors do it too.” Kennedy says those who download and submit are taking the easy way out. His suggestion? “Use the Net, but also go through books. In some libraries, you aren’t allowed to photocopy information, so you’re forced to write it down. That’s the way to learn.”


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Anonymous said...

Here's a fun web iq quiz to try.

or Do you have what it takes to earn
the title of WEBGURU?