Because we utilize web resources at a very high level in my courses, it is important that students develop critical web literacy skills that will help them to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources.

P-CITeS: A Framework for Critical Online Reading

P-CITeS teaches five essential skills for becoming a more critical reader of online resources. These skills include activating prior knowledge about the subject and authorship, credentialing the author, identifying the purpose, figuring out if a resource is time sensitive or timeless, and recognizing site organization.

I designed this online learning module to teach and re-enforce the importance of recognizing who is creating the information that we read online. One aspect that complicates digital literacy for struggling readers is that implicit trust of information is far more dangerous than it is with traditionally printed text. The vetting for legitimacy shifts from the publisher’s responsibility to the that of the reader. This makes questioning everything and resource triangulation prerequisites to online literacy in the digital age.

In this online learning module, students must compare and contrast various web resources while utilizing five new tools.

Explore and learn the P-CITeS framework by clicking here.


One of the biggest perks of this activity is that it allows me to collect data about students’ web literacy awareness. Especially useful is the results from the Prior Knowledge questionare because it allows me to assess the web literacy skills that students have coming into the school year. This really assists me in shaping instruction over the first two months to teach my students to become good digital citizens.