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?

Water - WebQuest Big Question

by frances 17. February 2010 12:34

This question posed by the ABC's Rear Vision program today...  "Over the past ten years Australian cities and towns have faced water shortages and water restrictions, yet Singapore, which once imported 80 per cent of its water, has become self sufficient. Are there any lessons Australian cities can learn from Singapore?" (Source: ABC Rear Vision) is a wonderful big, essential or focus question for a WebQuest.

    

This is a great introductory resource for students (Years 9 - 12 or at University level) studying the complexities of water either in Geography, Geology, Urban Design, Economics [water as a currency], Politics [the investigation of reticulated water supply system against the use of household water tanks] or Ecology.

   

At a stretch, it could even be about Australian History as this resource also looks at the usage of water since white settlement in 1788 from the Tank Stream to current usage. Although produced in Australia and has lots of references to the Australian water condition, this resource could be used as a case study for students in other countries - USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, NZ to name a few.

  

There are various roles or perspectives to undertake: a person committed to desalination; a Singapore government water official; a person committed to stormwater harvesting; and, a person committed to water recycling.

As the world faces shortages in water - this would be a productive and interesting WebQuest for students to explore.

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests

Constructivism: What is a WebQuest

by frances 16. February 2010 12:32

The pedagogy behind WebQuests involves PBL, Constructivism, Bloom's Higher Order Thinking Skills, Cooperative Learning, and to some extent SEL and MI.

  

This particular blog is about Constructivism. Here are some resources to give you an overview about this Learning Theory:

  

Constructivist Learning Theory : This is a paper by Prof. George E. Hein, Lesley College. Massachusetts USA in 1991. It explores the meaning and its application to museums and their exhibitions. An interesting read!

 

 

 

Constructivism - This site investigates a lot!!! It has definitions, and Readings from numerous authors. Don't be overwhelmed by it - just pick and choose!

Constructivist Education -This site is a blog devoting itself to looking at the Constructivist Approach and Education.

 

Have you any further suggestions from your own readings? Love to hear about them!

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What is a WebQuest?

Making a WebQuest: What is a WebQuest

by frances 10. February 2010 12:04

Here is an email I received yesterday (9th February 2010) from a Teacher in Rockhampton, Qld, Australia and my response:  

Hi Frances

I did a PD afternoon with you in September last year in Rockhampton (run by QSITE) on WebQuests.

Thought lots about it and considered much of the stuff you went through.

I'm more into the technical aspects (I teach ICT on it's own...and love it btw). I'm really not all that great at some of the other aspects of pedagogy.

Here's my problem. I've come up with my big question - "Should we turn the Internet off?" - a unit to exam issues like bullying, fraud, identity theft, pornography, illegal downloads (copyright) ...the list could go on
forever.

I had hoped my kids might role play (in some way) occupations like software programmer, musician, pirate (illegal seller of software etc etc).

Can you point me towards 1 or 2 webquests that might have doen this sort of thing really well, so I can get some inspiration for the nitty gritty of implementing.

Hope I'm not taking up too much of your time.

Paul

Response (9/2/10)

Hi Paul,

 

Good to hear from you!

 

This is a great topic & question! The roles are good as they are antagonistic! Put in an extreme conservative person too.

 

Here are some WQs (some not so good) but on your topic (well some of it):

 

1. What do you want to buy today - an E-Commerce WebQuest http://www.catawba.k12.nc.us/webquest/kincaid/cont.htm

 

2. Computer Science Project Research and Development Webquest: http://www.gecdsb.on.ca/d&g/cswebquest/

 

3. Copyright & Fair Use: http://edtech.boisestate.edu/elearn/internet/copyright/copyrightwq.htm

 

4. WWW Accessibility http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/webquest.asp?id=299 

5. Copyright (in Web Archive)

 

Some as you can see are just Web-based activities rather than solving a messy problem like you have here - but they might be of some help.

 

If you use SWAT http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/swat then I will help you further as you go along.

 

I have inserted a Criteria Report so you can see the Criteria we use to compose a WQ review.

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

 

Best wishes, Frances

10/2/10

Thanks Frances...awesome service.

 

I chose the model from Boise State. Perhaps missing some stuff from a webquest angle, but I like the way they addressed each of the angles.

 

Hope I made a good choice!!!

 

Thanks again

Paul

 

10/2/10

 

Hi Paul,

 

This particular WQ that you have chosen was given a rating of 3.5 and the following description by the team at WebQuest Direct (WQD):

  

 

Copyright and Fair Use WebQuest  Highly commended       

 

Rating:
Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA); General; Library; Professional Development; University - Education; Vocational Education
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Consensus; Judgement; Research
Grade Levels: Secondary / High School; University / Tertiary; Teacher; Community; Business Training
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English


Designed for students in secondary/high school, college or university. The big question is: “What exactly is copyright and how does it apply to us?”. The task gets students to develop an understanding of copyright law and how it applies to them. To accomplish this students have to critically analyse a number of copyright scenarios and draw conclusions from a multiple of perspectives. The following questions will need to be addressed by the end: "what is meant by copyright and what is meant by fair use; what is the best way to limit district liability in regard to copyright violations; what does copyright law have to say about including copyrighted multimedia in educator and student products; and how do you get permission from the copyright owners to use their materials." The class will need to be divided into groups of four. Within each group one person will need to assume a specific role: the copyright author; the school administrator; the librarian; or the technophile. Each person is to complete a concept building map and to develop a set of guidelines for their individual role using the materials provided. Following this, students need to get together in their group and answer four focus questions. The idea is that the group come up with 3 main points for each question and record them on the worksheet provided and then share their points with the larger class. All groups are required to develop an action plan to protect copyright in schools. Resources: There are a lot of links included. Most of these links work. The worksheets are helpful for the activities. Evaluation: There is no marking Evaluation rubric, Curriculum Standards or Teacher’s Guide. Duration: looks to be one lesson of over 45 minutes - this is not enough for deep thinking. The design is professional and compliments the topic of the project. The layout is excellent. The tasks are set out clearly and are easy to follow. This project could be improved by providing students with an open-ended question, with a messy problem to solve. Last updated 2008.

   

It would have obtained a higher rating if

 

1. an Evaluation Rubric was given

2. a Teacher's Guide including Curriculum Standards

3. Longer Duration than one lesson (should be an unit as you suggested) with more Higher Order Thinking Skill activities to complete.
4. A messy problem to solve rather than a Knowledge Question


  

 

If you address these issues then you will have created a great WQ.

 

Let me know where and when you have finished it so I can put it into WQD.

 

Best wishes, Frances

 

Let's stop reinventing the wheel: If any of you have some advice for Paul, please post it here for him. Thanks in advance!

   

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What is a WebQuest? | 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?

Problem-Based Learning: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 22. January 2010 16:48

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is the major pedagogy behind WebQuests!

Creators of WebQuests need to know about this Educational Theory.

Here are some resources that you might find relevant: The first site is from my good friend @ CQU, Scot Aldred. Scot is a PBL guru and he has many resources here for you to explore.

Central Queensland University – Scot Aldred’s PBL site:

ACS Distance Education  - this site explores the theory and the benefits of using PBL in the classroom.

 

 

Medical Journal of Australia: PBL: its rationale and efficacy - getting back to the roots of PBL - Problem-Based Learning in Medicine!

I recently gave these resources to a group of student teachers about to embark on making a WebQuest!

You mightn't go to all the resources listed here but at least you will get the main point of a WebQuest - to give the students a messy problem to solve!

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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

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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