A sure sign.
A quick glance at the due dates for assignments in course sites that we sometimes
stumble across (usually when we're looking for copies of articles that are no
longer available, except for pay, on their original servers) usually gives us
a very clear indication of whether or not the site is still active. Often we'll
learn that papers are due two or three years ago. And even on sites for courses
that, at least judging from the date, are apparently still taking place we'll
frequently see examples of student work from a few years earlier, yet nothing
from last year. It's as though the lecturer has lost any expectation of getting
quality work from his or her students and thus is content to leave the output
of earlier classes on the class site.
Sadly, this is often also true of the bibliographies in these courses. We'll often
discover that neither the sites, nor the books and/or articles, cited have been
updated for a few years, and that students taking these courses are being asked
to read (by web standards at least) quite outdated material.
Go to: On completing a web site