WebQuests - DOC

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The students in our classrooms are part of a generation that is often called “Generation
Dot Com”. They are online for a large portion of the day. Why haven‟t we used the
internet more often in schools? If used properly it can be a very effective way to promote
student learning.

What is a WebQuest?
A WebQuest is a classroom activity based on internet research that is designed to
promote higher order thinking. A good WebQuest has strategies of cognitive psychology
and constructivism built into it. It is not a simple activity in which students are finding
answers online and regurgitating them. The idea is to have students try and form their
own solution to a problem that is of present concern by working in a group and sifting
through pre-selected internet resources. Pre-selecting the resources gives the students
more time to analyse, criticize and assess the information. A WebQuest can be a short
one period activity or an extended month long unit, typically they take three or four

Why use Webquests?
Students learn best when they are motivated!
WebQuests motivate students because:
-They ask students to research and hypothesize or problem-solve an issue that is a real
       world problem and is getting media attention.
       i.e. Cloning, genetically modified food, alternative energy sources etc.
-Students work with resources that they find interesting and familiar with.
       Students are not asked to search though old textbooks and encyclopaedias to find
-Usually students take on a collaborative role and see that their groups success depends
       on the effort they put in.
-Students can take pride in their final product and can feel like they are making

How does it work?
A good webquest has six parts:

Introduction: The intro should motivate the students by providing background
information and making the activity seem desirable and fun.

Task: The detailed description of the problem the students are trying to solve. Typically
students are asked to give a multimedia presentation, create a poster or website, or
present their solution in a class discussion.
       -This is the most difficult part of building a WebQuest
       -It is good to have several examples of what the product should look like.
Process: A description of how the group should approach the problem. The process is
usually broken into a series of steps and the different roles of each group member are
clearly defined.

Resources: list of websites, or alternative sources of info for the students to use.
       -Obviously a source of problems if internet is not available. Some solutions are to
copy the web pages onto your schools computers (with the web page designers
permission of course) or print out web pages if need be.

Evaluation: A clear rubric that matches the specific goals and matches assessment to
specific tasks.

Conclusion: Usually a class discussion after the presentations that involves having the
students propose possible extensions.

-Time: Creating your first WebQuest is a time consuming ordeal. There are many
prepared ones available on the internet though!
-Computer Access: In most school would require booking the computer lab for several
classes in a row.
-Management: It is likely to be a new experience for both you and the students, so it may
go as smoothly as you‟d like the first few times and the students will likely complain,

WebQuest Information

WebQuest Databases
                                    The Amazing Race

What is the Amazing Race?
        The Amazing Race is an activity that can be used as tool to push the students to
apply the knowledge gained during the class to fun, short activities. It is also an excellent
evaluation tool and can be utilized in many different ways. The premise is that after
introducing the students to the day‟s concepts the students will work independently or in
small groups (3 is usually a maximum we used) to complete activities that involve the
application of the day‟s knowledge. The teacher prepares 2 or 3 activities pertaining to
the days work, with each activity more challenging then the previous. The tasks are then
assigned a level from 1-3 with 1 being the least challenging and 3 being the most. Each
group (individual) receives the level 1 assignment and works to correctly complete it.
When the student(s) believe the task is completed correctly one member brings it to the
instructor for evaluation. If the activity is entirely complete and student(s) can move on to
the level 2 task, however if it is not complete the student(s) must return to their seats and
try to make appropriate corrections. One option is to assign a point system with the first
person finishing it receiving the highest number of points and the number of points given
out continually decreasing with as more assignments are completed. A second option is to
assign each level a point value and everyone who completes it successfully obtains that
number of points. Of course the higher the level of activity, the more points the student(s)
should receive. We chose to do this activity at the end of most days and keep track of the
points so it was an ongoing activity. At the end of the unit the student(s) with the most
points were rewarded. Another interesting spin on it is to allow the students to use their
obtained points to „buy‟ things like a class movie day, or class snack day or some other
event or prize. This enables the Amazing Race to go on for a long time and encourages
students to participate. The Amazing Race format can also be used strictly as a review
activity at the end of a unit.

Some Examples of Activities Include:
      - Multiple Choice Quiz       - Word Search                      -Crossword
      - Design a Simple Experiment                                    -Build This Circuit
      - Matching                   -Fill in the Blanks                -Develop a Song
      -Create a Poster             -Create a Short Skit               -Jumble
      -Apply Your Knowledge to the Following Situation                -Predictions

Why Use The Amazing Race
         This activity has the possibility of helping a teacher maximize the entire learning
period, and move away from teacher centered lecturing or note taking. Additionally if
one of the tasks is a short quiz then you introduce evaluations and assessment into the
activity and help eliminate some of the anxiety that goes along with evaluations.
Furthermore this type of activity allows a teacher to tap into a variety of different student
strengths. The activities could be geared towards students who excel in different subjects
other then you‟re the one you‟re teaching. Additionally the activities can be used to
facilitate the variety of different learning styles and multiple intelligence‟s found in any
class. Finally this activity can be an excellent motivational tool for the students and
allows them to apply the knowledge just learned in class.

Groups – A teacher must decide how group activity will work in their class and how to
best put the students into appropriate groups.
Time – Some students do not handle time pressure and competition very well so it is
important to encourage co-operation and encouragement between the members of the
Evaluation/Assessment – The teacher must ensure the activities are not so demanding that
it requires a large amount of time to identify the correct completion of the activity.
Preparation – Preparing three or four activities each class can be time consuming
depending on the material being presented.

Below is an example of a Amazing Race format that could be used in an upper year
chemistry course:
                        The Amazing Race

                      Day 1 – Level 1
Use to answers to fill in the answer to the question below

1. Organic Chemistry is the study of:

  a)    cyclic compounds
  b)    carbon compounds
  c)    hydrocarbon compounds
  d)    saturated compounds

2. Which of the following is not a bonding property of carbon?

  u)    Can form chains
  g)    Can form isomers
  r)    Can form double and triple bonds
  e)     Can form isopetrics
  x)    Has four valence electrons

3. Which of the followings 2-D organic molecule representations show
   only the atoms present not the way their connected

  n)    Molecular Formula
  q)    Structural Formula
  h)    Modified Structural Formula
  k)    Condensed Structural Formula

4. Constitutional isomers have:

  v)     different molecular formulas but the atoms are attached
        in the same manner
  m)     the same molecular properties
  z)     all the same atoms, just arranged in a different order
  l)     the same IUPAC name
5. As the number of carbons in an alkane increase the boiling point and
   melting point

  e)    Increase
  g)    Same the same
  r)    Decrease
  s)    These factors are not affected

6. All alkanes are saturated meaning that the carbons are bonded
   together by single bonds. The general formula for these molecules

  t)    CnHn
  f)     CnH2n
  d)    CnH2n+1
  n)    CnH2n+2

7. The name of the compound containing only 5 carbons and 12
   hydrogen’s is:

  u)     Butane
  e)     Pentane
  y)     Hexane
  z)     Bobane

If Mr. Hulsman was a super-hero he would use the _ _ _ _ _ _ _
molecule as his super-hero symbol.
                         Amazing Race

                        Day 1 – Level 2

Using the model kits supplied you and your partner need
to build the following structures:

1)   Three different molecules (isomers) all containing
     only 5 carbons and 12 hydrogens

2)   Butane

3)   Cyclopropane

4)   Chlorocylcobutane

5)   1,3-dimethylcyclopentane

6)   Ethene

7)   Butyne

                            Level 3
Matching Game

You will receive 30 different square each containing either the
name or picture of an organic molecule. Your job is to match the
pictures with the correct names. (Hint: For each name there are
two different images).








                           Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
What is „Who Wants To Be A Millionaire‟?

There are a variety of different Microsoft Power Point templates that allow teachers to
develop interactive games that their students can work with. These templates allow
teachers to tap into the success of many television game shows and presents students with
an engaging, interactive activity to apply their knowledge.

Why Play „Who Wants To Be A Millionaire‟?

An activity like this can be an excellent review activity that allows a teacher to be quite
comprehensive. In addition this activity can increase motivation and help stimulate class


Technology – The availability of technology is the main challenge of this activity.
Computer labs can be hard to come by. A solution is to play it as a class, and then only
one computer and projector is required.

Another excellent resource is the Jefferson Lab teacher resource web page found at
http://education.jlab.org/indexpages/teachers.html. This site contains multiple hands-on-
activities, worksheets, puzzles, games, and on-line activities for students. It is definitely
worth taking a look at.