It’s important to complete both Lessons 1 and 2, including the exercises assigned in the lessons, before you attempt this assignment.
Before you begin, read the separate documents Format and General Directions for Assignments and Instructions for Submitting Assignments, which apply to this, and all assignments.
This question has a length limit, which means you will have to work to eliminate extraneous points and to write concisely. This will require writing several drafts. Please do your best to adhere to length limit. Exceeding this limit by a few words (i.e. 20 words or so) isn’t a problem, but to be fair to all students there will be a grade penalty of one full grade for exceeding the limit by over 25 words. If you are having problems adhering to the limit you may not be focusing on what has been asked. Stick to the task at hand rather than providing commentary,quoting definitions of terms from the text etc. If you are having a real problem keeping within the length limit, please contact me and hopefully I can help. However, please note that I do not review rough drafts of assignments.
Write your answers in complete sentences and paragraphs. If you find you need to conduct research on any of the sources please indicate where the information was obtained. Any widely used referencing format is acceptable (footnotes, end notes, MLA APA, etc. are all acceptable, just be consistent). The question can be found on the next page.
** Don’t forget to read page 3 – Self-Evaluation Checklist! **
Comparing the Credibility of two Sources
A debate regarding the safety of the use of WiFi in schools began several years ago when parents complained that their children were suffering headaches, heart palpitations, nausea, general malaise etc. after WiFi had been installed throughout their schools. News programs such as 16X9 and CBC News covered the debate between experts and Health Canada about whether or not WiFi use in schools should be a cause for concern. Several experts challenged the Health Canada Guidelines outlined in Safety Code 6 which sets limits to radio frequency radiation exposure, as being too high. Some suggest that the levels these guidelines permit can cause harm to people, especially susceptible populations such as children in schools. Beth Peterson, Director of Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences at Health Canada claims that WiFi is perfectly safe (in schools), yet Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, claims that WiFi in schools can be dangerous.
After reading the background information supplied above and watching the video linked below apply the criteria for assessing the credibility of a source as outlined in Chapter 2 of the text, in order to compare the credibility of Beth Pieterson and Magda Havas with respect to the claim each makes. While these sources and other sources make several other claims throughout the interviews only assess the credibility of Pieterson and Havas as sources of the claims which have been bolded in the background information above.
In your answer you need to:
(i) examine each of the 3 dimensions of credibility with respect to each source,
(ii) provide an overall judgement about the overall credibility of each source based on
The link to the video is found below.
Maximum Length: 800 words (Note: you should be able to answer using fewer words.)
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Link to video:
CBC News, The National: WiFi: should we be worried? CBC, 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 May 2016.
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Use this checklist as a guide to any revisions that may be necessary to your answer to Question 1.
Your judgment about the overall credibility of each source is clearly stated: e.g. “X is/is not a credible source of the claim she makes.”
You have discussed the three dimensions of credibility with respect to each of sources in question:
a. opportunity to discover the truth of the claim
b. ability to make a judgement about the claim
c. dependability of the source
The three dimensions of credibility (opportunity, ability, dependability) are discussed
explicitly. This means you will need to use these terms.
Opportunity, ability, and dependability are not confused with one another. (E.g. when you claim to be discussing opportunity, you do not instead discuss the source’s credentials, which are more likely to be an aspect of the source’s ability.).
Your judgements about each of the three dimensions of credibility are supported with reasons.
Your conclusion about the credibility of each source is consistent with your conclusions about the source’s opportunity, ability, and dependability.
You did NOT discuss:
a. whether you agreed or disagreed with the claim. (That wouldn’t be relevant
b. whether or not the evidence for the claim is good. (Later in the course we’ll look
at both credibility and at evidence.)