Most major activities in our society have a presence on the internet with a dedicated home page. Students have grown up with the internet and are often excellent critics of what makes a good or poor website.
The students’ task will be to evaluate how well the website works for the intended user and if the website is effective at communicating water conservation practices.
Assist groups of students in choosing an appropriate website that relates to water consumption (or water treatment including waste water). These can include:
- Water retailers who bill homes, schools, and industry.
- Water suppliers who supply the water to retailers.
- Water suppliers for agriculture including irrigation.
- Government bodies responsible for managing water resources including the storage of water and the distribution for home, industry and agricultural uses.
- Conservation organisations lobbying for responsible water management.
- Conservation organisations focused on healthy waterways.
- Government organisations responsible for waterway management.
Once each group has chosen their website, they should identify the intended users of the website. This will help them to refine the criteria they will use to evaluate the website.
Students will consider the following questions to help them to evaluate their website:
- How well does the website provide information to the user?
- How much promotion of the organisation does the website take up? (Promotion is probably not relevant to the user.)
- How well does the navigation system work?
- How boring is the website? Is that a bad thing?
- How does the website promote water conservation practice?
- How well is water conservation communicated?
While students are doing their review they will also make notes about:
- Recommendations for improving navigation.
- Ideas for making the website more interesting.
- Changes they would like to see.
- Ways the website can be improved so people learn more about water conservation practices.
After students have evaluated the websites, they compose an e-mail with recommendations to send to the organisation.
Student e-mails may need to be edited by the teacher before they are sent to the organisation. As a class, you may wish to discuss who their e-mails should be sent to to have the best impact. It could be cc'd to several people within the organization or sent through the website feedback space if the website provides one.
Students may wish to share any feedback that they get from their organisation with the class at a later date.