Selection Process

Beginning with its inception in April 1997, EDSITEment has received several hundred website nominations a year that members of the EDSITEment staff and the NEH Division of Education Programs screen for eligibility and winnow to a list comprising 75 to 100 of the most promising humanities sites.

Peer Review Panel

The NEH staff assembles a peer review panel to review the list of sites. The panel, one of approximately 100 convened annually by the NEH to evaluate humanities-based project proposals, includes college and university faculty as well as master teachers and curriculum specialists from schools from around the country.

Between twenty to fifty sites receive very high ratings and are selected to be considered for further review.

Blue Ribbon Panel

A Blue Ribbon Panel consisting of leaders in education, humanities, government, and business, assesses the peer-reviewed sites and recommends twenty to thirty sites to be added to EDSITEment for that year.

The rigorous assessment of EDSITEment websites by the Peer Review and Blue Ribbon Panels should help instill confidence among parents, teachers, and students across the country that the sites selected for inclusion on EDSITEment are appropriate and have sound educational value.

Website Selection Criteria

  • Intellectual Quality

    • Does the site provide rich, deep, multi-layered humanities content?
    • Does it provide the student access to authentic, worthwhile materials with precise references and clear content?
    • Do the author or authors have appropriate scholarly qualifications?
    • Is the information accurate, balanced, and updated frequently?
    • Is the site unique, or is the material more easily available elsewhere?
  • Website Design
    • Is the site user-friendly and attractive graphically?
    • Is it easy to access information from different parts of the site?
    • Does the site provide for more than a one-dimensional exposition, allowing students to experience a continuum of working with the materials towards greater sophistication and creativity?
    • Does the site allow for an active, constructive relationship to the material?
    • If teacher guides or exercises are available, do they tap the resources of the site deeply? (Note: such resources are not a requirement.)
    • If the site requires additional hardware or software, are plug-ins available?
    • Are links to other related sites easy and accessible?
    • Does the site have any special features to attract or engage users?
  • Website Impact
    • Can this site serve multiple audiences or is it highly specialized?
    • Are you aware of any particular uses it would have in the curriculum of a school or college?
    • Does the content relate to education standards developed by your state?
    • If you use this site in your teaching, for which courses and what kinds of assignments or student projects is it most useful?
    • Does the site engage students and encourage them to develop active interest and mastery of the subject area?
    • Is this the best or one of the best sites that you know of in this subject area?