When a WebQuest ISN'T a WebQuest!

by frances 15. December 2009 12:04
This is the email I sent to Sofia Khayech, Youth Campaign Project Officer, The Cancer Council NSW on Sunday. I had been involved with its development giving feedback about how to convert it into a WebQuest. Unfortunately only some of my recommendations were taken up:

"I have gone into this resource to review it – so the review is now available for our subscribers. [WebQuest Direct]  

It was very hard for me to give it a final rating of only 2.5/5 as the resource is SO good.
But it is still not a WebQuest as I stated earlier in my thoughts to you, and I need to be faithful to my rating device of only giving 2.5 if the resource is not a WQ despite it being created and constructed beautifully.  
Unfortunately, I have only given it a 2.5/5 as it does not have 2 of the required elements to be a WebQuest:
·         required Group work[ so the project cannot be completed individually] that allows students to solve the messy problem and,
·         roles or perspectives where students are to solve the messy problem together but with different viewpoints given.   
Here is my review [for WebQuest Direct]:  “This is a comprehensive and well constructed web-based project designed for students in Years 9 - 10 (Stage 5, NSW, Australia) by the Cancer Council of NSW and based on Al Bino’s music video "It's A Beautiful Day". It was developed for students studying Media.  Unfortunately, students are not given roles or perspectives to solve the problem presented - an essential element of a WebQuest. Students can also work individually so deleting another requirement of a WebQuest - to work in groups. Students, individually or in groups of four, are to create a powerful multimedia message [using either a music clip, a video, a website or a social networking site] about skin cancer and the important ways young people can protect themselves from the sun. After they have composed their multimedia response they are to write an individual critical reflection outlining their learning experience. In detail, they are to use Al Bino’s music video; review the key elements of Al Bino’s music video and analyse how he uses different techniques to get his message about skin cancer across. Students are to complete 7 steps: 1: MySpace is MyPlace where they are to examine the context, audience and purpose; 2: What you looking at? where they are to identify and understand Visual Literacy features; 3: Rip it apart where they are to deconstruct the Visual Literacy features of Al Bino’s music clip; 4: Same or different? where they are to compare & contrast mediums of visual literacy targeting youth audiences using The Offspring "Pretty Fly" music clip; 5: Your turn where students are to create their own response (can be completed in groups or individually); 6: Stop. Reflect. Present - here students are to write a critical reflection and present their work; and, 7: Publish it - this is where students are to publish their final response.
Resources: comprehensive.
Evaluation rubric is provided.
No Conclusion is given although the competition which closes in early 2010 is probably seen as the Conclusion.
Teacher's Guide includes Curriculum Standards for NSW Media; some Implementation Advice; Duration: 5 weeks [40 minute lessons x6/fortnight] - which is very tight considering the amount of work students are to accomplish - homework will be essential although most students will not have access to software required at home.  
Design and Layout: students will need access to MySpace, Facebook, Ning, and YouTube; and, the software: Audacity; Animoto, Toondoo, VoiceThread, to complete this project. Also they will need access to listening to music clips.
Created in 2009." 
Despite this review as a WebQuest, it is a very good web-based resource for students and teachers in NSW! I hope you get lots of students and teachers using it – although it is a pity that they will think of this as a WebQuest.  
What will happen to this resource once the competition is over? [In March 2010].
I certainly hope Teachers and Students in NSW alike will enjoy doing this web-based project - it has lots to commend it BUT unless it is pointed out to them - this is NOT a WebQuest.

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