Monday, May 4, 2009

WebQuest about the Precambrian Era

I have just put the finishing touches on my Precambrian WebQuest and published in using

I realize that our instructions were to use GoggleSites to develop our webquest, but one of the overaching themes of this course has been to use web-based applications that allow us to quickly and efficiently use our time producing education material and not on figuring out procedural routines to produce the educational material. This is what allowed me to do. This application guides the teacher through the setup of a WebQuest and does all the formatting for you. Very easy to use and has all the components of a WebQuest.

I tried to produce roles the students would fill that were not science-based, that way I could reach a wider array of student interests. I had an artist, technology guru, and daydreamer. They were to act as a team working for a graphic arts company to produce museum exhibits. Each role had a particular type of exhibit they were to build, ficused on their own strengths. There were several examples of similar products, even a couple of videos that they could parallel for the video exhibit. All of the web site resources were directly tied to the assignments. Finally I suggested a method of presenting the exhibits to the classroom based on how a real museum exhibition would be presented to the public. Feedback from other students viewing the exhibits would support the success of their project.

As for the HEAT (Higher-order thinking, Engaged learning, Authentic learning, Technology use)levels, I think the technology was at a level 6 since a video using internet resources must be produced. The learning experience is probably a level 5 since authentic applications were proposed (creating museum exhibits by a graphic arts company). Engaged learning is probably is a level 5 since the third exhibit was totally open-ended, requiring the students to produce a novel presentation method using their imagination and a vision of the future of humanity on Earth. This was constructivism at its best. Higher order thinking was at level 4 as the students were using the research questions/answers for an application.

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