Cooperative Learning: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 21. February 2010 14:27

Here are some videos about Cooperative Learning - another Pedagogy behind WebQuests!

Cooperative Learning - this video gives you a simple overview about Cooperative Learning in the Classroom

Tips for Implementing Cooperative Learning Activities by Dr. Richards

Even though he is just reading out these tips - they are well worth listening to!


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Cooperative Learning: What is a WebQuest

by frances 19. February 2010 14:03

Another pedagogy behind WebQuests is Cooperative Learning!

    

Here are some resources I gave my student teachers the other day on Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning - this site covers:  
  • Why use Cooperative Learning?
  • Elements of Cooperative Learning
  • Class Activities that use Cooperative Learning

New Horizons for Learning: Cooperative Learning - This small site covers Articles, Recommended Reading, and Related Links  

Teach-nology: Cooperative Learning - this is a large collection of websites that you can browse through to learn more about Cooperative Learning Theory.

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What is a WebQuest?

Constructivist Theory: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 18. February 2010 13:02

Here are two more YouTube short videos about Constructivism!

The first one is a professionally developed video:

VYGOTSKY'S DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION ( DAVIDSON FILMS )

The second video is about two great minds in Education:

PIAGET & VYGOTSKY IN 90 SECONDS

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What is a WebQuest?

Constructivist Theory: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 17. February 2010 12:54

We have been looking at resources on Constructivism!

Here is an excellent, simple video about Constructivist Theory that you might enjoy. It is only just over 2mins.

Title: Building knowledge: constructivism in learning

 

 

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What is a WebQuest?

What are some good Indian WebQuests?

by frances 1. February 2010 16:50

26th January was Republic Day in India - so I investigated to see if there were any good Indian WebQuests.

What I did find was some good WebQuests about India!

The following WQ is now only on the WebArchive - a pity as it could be a wonderful tool for students to learn about Indian History. Maybe one of you could convert it to an active WQ again?

The Struggle for Indian Independence: "The Movie Event of the Year"        

 

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA); HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; The Arts & Music
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Using technology; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Creative Product; Research
Grade Levels: Middle
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English


Designed for students in Years 6 - 8 studying World History. Students are given the following scenario: "You are a Bollywood film-maker who is writing and directing a film on the Indian independence movement that spans 90 years from 1857 to 1947. Adopt the role of one of the characters listed below and follow the quest to learn about your point of view during this period. Map all the important events during this time and build a story around these events with emphasis on how it affects your character: Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, or, Balgangadhar Tilak." After researching, students are to form groups. "Different groups may then come up with different scenes from the movie and enact them in the form of a skit or a musical sequence". Resources: extensive on the history of India but no resources on how to write, or script a movie in the Bollywood style; or, for a skit; or, a musical sequence. Conclusion is a quote - no call to action. Evaluation rubric is provided. Teacher's Guide is limited without reference to Curriculum Standards, or Duration; there are extension activities listed: including: A debate between the Moderates and the Extremists can be staged with different groups in class taking either side; and, create a visual poster for the film or create a collage depicting the Indian freedom struggle. Design and Layout: unfortunately hosted with Tripod so there are pop-ups that most school net nannies will block - since coming to the WebArchive, all images are lost. Last updated 2007.

Quest for Peace and Diplomacy - India - Pakistan Conflict  Silver award      

 

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; The Arts & Music
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Consensus; Judgement; Research
Grade Levels: Middle; Secondary / High School
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English


Designed for students in Years 6 - 12, although suitable for students studying International Relations, Current Affairs, Political Science, Contemporary World History in Years 9 - 12 (the reading and complexity of the issues involved makes it more suitable for older classes). Students are to investigate the India and Pakistan conflict over Kashmir since 1947. Students are to think about the following questions: "Is peace possible in the subcontinent? Why have past attempts at peace failed? Why are India and Pakistan enemies when they were once one country? Why is Kashmir so important to both countries? What is the relationship of nuclear tests by both countries to the conflict? Why is the international community concerned about what happens here? How would you design a lasting peace agreement between India and Pakistan?" The last question is the big question and forms the basis of this project. Students are given extensive background information and resources including the Simla Agreement. Student roles are to be members of one of the four delegations from: Pakistan, India, Kashmir, and the United States. Each delegation is to have a student take a viewpoint: side with Kashmiris, side with Pakistanis, side with Indians, side with Americans, be a Nuclear Non-Proliferationist or be a Human Rights Activist. After completing the research phase (extensive) the delegation are to then collaborate and create a new solution to the crisis in the subcontinent. Each delegation is to form a Peace Summit to work out their differences. Students are to write a peace proposal for consideration by the United Nations and an individual letter to a newspaper editor or a nominated web site or a Peace Organization detailing their point of view about the crisis in Kashmir.

Resources: some of the resources are now out of date: CIA Factbook for India now at: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/in.html 
CIA Factbook for Pakistan at: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pk.html

Evaluation: detailed rubrics are provided for 1. Delegation Collaboration; 2. Peace Proposal (Creative Solution); and, 3. Individual Letter to the Editor/Web Site/Peace Organization. Conclusion and Real World Feedback are detailed.

Teacher's Guide contains Social Studies and Information Processing and Technology Objectives. A report for teachers on this WebQuest is at: http://www.campus-adr.org/CMHER/ReportResources/Edition2_2/Webquest2_2.html

Design and Layout: have to use the back button to get to the main navigation as it is only on the home page. As this site is hosted with a commercial company - there are pop-ups on each page. Also at: http://www.angelfire.com/wy/peacequest/ and http://www.angelfire.com/wy/peacequest/Introduction.html

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What is a WebQuest?

What are some good Australian WebQuests?

by frances 26. January 2010 16:50

As today is Australia Day, it might be a good idea to look at some good Australian WebQuests! It is also Republic Day in India - so I will investigate some Indian WebQuests for later in the week.

The Reviews are from the Team @ WebQuest Direct.

Secondary School WebQuest:

Antarctica - an unspoilt wilderness on earth  Gold award     

 

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Journalistic; Persuasion; Research; Science
Grade Levels: Secondary / High School
Country: Australia Australia
Language: English


Designed for students in Year 9 (Queensland, Australia) studying Social Studies particularly Geography. Students are given the following scenario: "The Australian Government has come under enormous pressure recently from multinational companies to look at ways in which Australia can develop Antarctica. These companies are considering the ideas of ecotourism, mining or commercial fishing at Antarctica in 2010. These companies have on many occasions criticised the Federal Government for not doing enough towards the development of Antarctica. As humans we are now able to travel to all parts of the globe and we are becoming more and more interested in commercialising Antarctica. Fearing further criticism and concerns regarding re-election, the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has requested your team to prepare a presentation into the viability and complex issues that surround these controversial proposals. The Australian Government has requested that a number of Teams explore the impact of ecotourism, mining and commercial fishing proposals on the animals and natural environment of Antarctica." The Big Question is: "Can commercial exploitation and the preservation of the natural Antarctic ecosystem co-exist together?" The roles are: Tour Operator, Environmentalist, Scientist, or, Politician. These roles have questions to be answered and comprehensive resources to look up and research. "The team is to develop a group presentation that contains recommendations that consider issues of tourism impact, scientific research, political pressures, climate, environment and wildlife. Once each individual has researched and developed an argument in relation to their role, they are to come together as a team to develop a conclusion and recommendations. The five (5) summary recommendations that either support or argue against the proposals will be forwarded to the Federal Government Environment Minister Peter Garrett on behalf of the whole team." Resources are comprehensive. Conclusion contains Real World Feedback Complete a class summary of recommendations and send them directly to the Australian Antarctic Division. Students are also challenged to investigate one of the following three issues facing Australian and its environment: Ecotourism in the Daintree Forrest; or, Mining on the Great Barrier Reef; or, Commercial Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef by recording for two weeks any media references to their topic and commenting on their research in a response paper - this is also assessed. Evaluation rubric is provided. Teacher's Guide contains Curriculum Standards for SOSE (Social Studies), Science and Technology; implementation advice; and, Duration: could be incorporated into an unit of work lasting one term (8 - 10 weeks) or stand alone at the end of the unit: 4 weeks. Design and Layout is excellent with images to enhance learning; font size appropriate. Last updated 2008.


A Middle School WebQuest:

The Last Lighthouse Keeper – Web Quest     

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies
Key Competencies:
Tasks: Other
Grade Levels: Middle
Country: Australia Australia
Language: English

Designed for students in Years 5 - 8. The unit of work focuses on the question of ‘Who wins from automation?’ and uses Tasmanian lighthouses as the prime example. Students may start this WebQuest with a Knowledge Hunt at http://www.maritimetas.org/LLK_KH.html The big questions are: "Should the Keeper remain or should the light be automated?" and "What is your recommendation about the future management of the lighthouse and of the island itself?" Students are to decide on the island's name (English/Dutch); and, the location of several important features such as the lighthouse and associated buildings, the seal colony, and the access. Students explore the pros and cons of automation from the viewpoint of various stakeholders: Lighthouse Keeper and family; Tourism Developers; Environmentalists; Employer Representatives; Yachting Disaster Survivors; and, Lawyers. Each group, besides the lawyers - who help every role, present their recommendation before a class discussion or debate is held to try to resolve the future of the last Lighthouse Keeper. They are to develop a management plan for the lighthouse and the island itself. There is an opportunity to obtain Real Life Feedback from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and families who were lighthouse keepers. Teachers interested in Philosophy for Children could have the class conduct a community of inquiry exploring the question of "Who do you think wins from automation?" Tasmanian Curriculum Standards are listed. Extensive resources listed. Last updated 2004.

A Primary School WebQuest:

Potter's Administration  Gold award    

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA); HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; Technology & Design; The Arts & Music
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Creative Product; Mystery; Research
Grade Levels: Primary / Elementary; Middle
Country: Australia Australia
Language: English

Designed for students in Years 6 - 7 (Queensland, Australia, or Years 5 - 6 students in most other Australian States), based on Harry Potter, and on the study of all levels of Australian Government. Students are invited to become one of Dumbledore's Army to see if the Australian Government System is the one for the Newly Revised Ministry of Magic. Students are to take on a role (Muggle, Aura, Ministry Official; House-elf, Centaur or Giant) and investigate the Australian Government from this beings perspective and identify the key parts of this style of government that would particularly suit them by using a Venn Diagram to demonstrate the similarities and differences between the different levels of government; identify leaders, deputies and opposition; and describe significant roles and government responsibilities i.e. Garbage collection and Defence services; assemble a draft of the most significant responsibilities of each level of government; negotiate within their team and come up with the 4 most significant responsibilities of each; devise 4 spells that the Ministry could use to implement their 4 most important responsibilities; name the spells; and, clarify what the spell would do. Students are to come to consensus on whether the New Magical Government should use the Australian Government as a superior prototype. Students are to then design and present a Power Point and short oral presentation to the other members of Dumbledore’s Army, The Order and The Head of the Ministry where each member explains who they were and their perspective on the need for a Magical Government; describe the significantly important aspects of the Australian Government for the new Magical government; and, explain the 4 spells created and their specific function, for each level of government. Resources: comprehensive. Evaluation rubric is provided. Conclusion: students are told that they "have been nominated for election into Government for the Ministry of Magic". Students are to come prepared in appropriate dress, bring their profile and be prepared to appeal to their peers for selection. Their profile has to be a poster with their name, preferred office position and slogan, list of special magical skills and one significant quality which they think would make them the most pleasing representative. Teacher's Guide provides Duration: 4 weeks (3 hours per week), Queensland Curriculum Outcomes are listed, information about each of the Tasks; and, feedback from another school about their experiences. Design and layout: visually exciting as well as audio clips to enhance student learning. This activity has turned a somewhat boring topic "Three levels of Government within Australia" to an exciting relevant topic. Last updated 2008.

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What is a WebQuest? | What is a WebQuest? | What is a WebQuest? | What is a WebQuest?

PBL: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 21. January 2010 16:46

Here is quite a good video on PBL that gives an overview of what it entails.

Although based in Higher Education the elements of PBL can be used at all levels of education.

Go and have a look and tell me what you think!

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What is a WebQuest?

When a WebQuest ISN'T a WebQuest: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 20. January 2010 09:11

I subscribe to Google Alerts for WebQuests. It is a great source of new WebQuests for us to review!

However, it really stresses me when there is no moderation when a "WebQuest" is created so the myth of a WebQuest as a Research Assignment is perpetuated!

Have a look at this recent example: The Life of a Butterfly

This is a straight "Teacher Directed", "my students need to know about the life cycle of butterflies" and I need to integrate computers and activities on computers into my classroom type activity!
   
Good as a Web-based Activity but NOT a WebQuest!
    
Ok, it is hard to give the younger students a WebQuests that requires thinking skills BUT it can be done! Look at how effective P4C (Philosophy for Children) is with the students from Kindergarten to Year 2. Go and have a look at some of the resources I have listed below about P4C.
     
Getting back to this NON-WebQuest.
    
This topic is not appropriate for a WebQuest.
There is no problem to solve! Just research and regurgitate! Therefore no higher order thinking either!
     
As a teacher, you need to then dismiss this topic - the Life Cycle of a Butterfly -  as a WebQuest.
BUT
     
After the students know about Life Cycles of insects, they could then tackle a problem such as the one seen here:
   
OR
Mununja the Butterfly where the big Question is: What are the threats of ecotourism to our native plants and animals?

 

 

P4C: Resources

Developing Critical Thinking: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 12. January 2010 09:20

I came across the following website which is an exercise for Teachers on how to Develop Critical Thinking within their students. The site has been developed by the NSW Country Areas Program (CAP) and uses Global Warming as the vehicle to engage Teachers.

There are 3 Steps listed including Developing Powerful Questions! Well worth a look!

 

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What is a WebQuest?

Higher Order Thinking Skills & Primary WebQuests: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 11. January 2010 23:41

Middle, Secondary, Business and Tertiary WebQuests can have Higher Order Thinking Skills encouraged in their tasks but what about Primary WebQuests?

Have a look at this outstanding Primary/Elementary WebQuest: Where has all the water gone?

 

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Using technology; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Design; Persuasion; Research; Science
Grade Levels: Primary / Elementary; Middle
Country: Australia Australia
Language: English

Designed for students in Years 6 - 7 (Queensland, Australia; or, Years 5 - 6 in most other Australian States).
Students are given the following scenario: "Our town is running out of water. Our Mayor has approached our school for some creative ideas to come up with for a long term solution to our town's water problems. As a member of this taskforce your team will investigate the issue and design a plan that will seek to resolve the water issues in our town. The Mayor has asked our school teams to present their plans to the local council using a ten minute multimedia presentation that will quickly and easily make your plans understood to all council members. There will then be a five minute time allocation for questions from the councilors. Your team will need to look at a lot of competing interests and different points of view, in order to come up with a plan that gives everyone enough water now and in the future. You will share your research with others on your team to develop a plan, but you will need data to support your plan. The solution does not have to be one that is currently used. Think creatively; original ideas are encourage. Good luck with your challenge, our town is counting on you."
Students, in groups of four, are to take on the roles of different Hydrologists: Hydrologist 1 is to investigate alternative sources of water supply; Hydrologist 2 is to investigate alternative water solutions; Hydrologist 3 is to investigate creative ways for reducing the use of water consumption; and, Hydrologist 4 is to investigate alternative products used to help create a sustainable water supply for the future.
They are to individually analyse the data for their particular area of expertise and report back to their taskforce group. Together, they are to create a multimedia presentation in which they are to present their ideas on how to save the town's water supply. Using DeBono's six thinking hats, students are to evaluate their action plan (multimedia presentation) before giving their 5 minute presentation.
Resources: while this is a generic problem throughout most of Australia, the comprehensive resources given are specifically for Queensland. Evaluation rubric is provided along with peer assessment rubric. Conclusion asks students to complete two activities: "Your team is to design a water audit plan to be distributed to students in your school. They will have one week to complete their home audit and return the survey to you. Once you have collated all your data you will write a report analysing the results. These results will then be published in the school newsletter. Your group will then design a poster showing water saving ideas that can be photocopied and placed around the community." Teacher's Guide is comprehensive and contains Curriculum Standards [Learning Outcomes]; some Implementation Advice, and, Duration: 90 minutes/week for 10 weeks. Design and Layout: simple and easy to use navigation; and, lots of images to aid learning. Last updated 2009.
   
Any problem or issue that is authentic and messy [having multiple viewpoints] can be made into a WebQuest and encourage Higher Order Thinking Skills regardless of age! WebQuest Direct & other WQ Directories have thousands of Primary WebQuests with HOTS in their tasks.
Make the benchmark higher and see the results of your students thinking!!!

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary School.com.au Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!

 

Clustr Map

Created WebQuests

Champions of Justice
Federator
Gold Force
Community Shopping Centre Planner
Can you get the party started?
Reminders of our moral conscience
The Petrov Affair
Careers
My Business Rules
Pluto's planetary status