Emotional Intelligence: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 4. January 2010 13:02

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ)? - See the Catalyst site below and listed sites!


(Source: ABC Catalyst)
How can the use of Emotional Intelligence be encouraged in WebQuests?
By the use of Perspectives or Roles!

Perspectives, roles or characters allow students or participants to "walk in their shoes" and experience their character's emotions, feelings, thoughts and motivations.

A great example of perspectives used in a WebQuest can be seen in "Jabiluka Uranium Mine ... should it be operational?" by Rebecca Green from Charles Sturt University, Australia.
Here is a description of this WebQuest from a Review by WebQuest Direct:
Top Rating:  5/5 - based on WebQuest elements of PBL, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Collaborative Learning,
Designed for High School Students studying Geography
Review: "Designed for students in Year 9 (Stage 5, NSW, Australia) studying about an Australian Community (Kakadu) in the NSW Stage 5 Mandatory Geography Syllabus Focus Area 5A2 Factors Causing Change in Australian Communities - Major Study.
Students are given the following scenario: "The price of uranium ore has skyrocketed in the current global economy and is almost as valuable as gold. Many countries around the world have built uranium power plants to help combat global warming and desperately need uranium ore to help power their countries. The Government of Australia and mining companies, particularly Energy Resources of Australia Pty Ltd (ERA), want to open the Jabiluka uranium mine in Kakadu and capitalise on the financial opportunity that is available." The big questions are: "Do you think it would benefit Australia? What happened the last time this was proposed? Why?" Students are divided into representatives of the key stakeholders in this issue: The Mirarr People, the Australian Government, a representative of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and an Environmentalist. They are to come up with a proposal for Jabiluka and decide whether or not this should go ahead. They are to examine previous proposals for the Jabiluka Uranium Mine; write a letter to the newspaper explaining their position or perspective; and, then come together as a group and work on a proposal for the Jabiluka mine site that encompasses all the perspectives and that suit this situation the best.
Resources comprehensive. Evaluation rubric is provided. Conclusion gives students further challenges to consider. Teacher's Guide is comprehensive and includes links to NSW Curriculum Standards [this unit of work is designed to be used towards the end of studying about an Australian Community (Kakadu) in the NSW Stage 5 Mandatory Geography Syllabus Focus Area 5A2 Changing Australian Communities]; Implementation Advice: "Students' will have completed lessons covering Kakadu's location; its physical environment; its cultural significance; Aboriginal interactions with the environment; and tourism. It is expected that students have an understanding of the unique geographical environment that is Kakadu National Park; and, Duration: 9 x 40 min lessons (the author states 3 x 40 min lessons and another 3 x 80 mins). Design and Layout:simple and easy to use navigation; appropriate and well thought out images to aid student learning. Last updated September 2009."
It doesn't have to only apply to Secondary or more advanced WebQuests. Primary and Middle School students can and should "become" a perspective.
Here is an example of a great Primary or Middle School WebQuest: Prisoners or Protected? A WebQuest for Exploring the Humanity of Zoos from the USA
Rating: 4.5/5 
Created in 1998 by Beverly Connolly, Maggie Gordon, and Cathy Shulof. Redesign by: Jenny Gurney and Emily Pytlik in 2005. Richmond University, USA
Review by WebQuest Direct: "Designed for students in Year 5 investigating different sides of the Zoo issue in order to determine whether or not zoos can be humane to animals. Students are asked to make decisions about whether zoos are humane to animals, and whether keeping animals in captivity for human entertainment is a good thing to do. Students also have the opportunity to look at different features of zoos and choose which features they think are the best suited to animal species. The class is divided into groups so that each group member can assume one of the following roles: Animal Rights Activist, Habitat Expert, Zoo Evaluator or Zoologist. Each student in their role must research specific questions associated with their role. Upon completion of their individual work, students form their groups again to discuss the main issue - to answer the big question: "In reference to zoos, is there a way to make everyone happy (animal rights activists, zoologists, habitat experts, zoo evaluators, AND animals)?".
The group also has a go at participating in an interactive habitat activity. As a final whole class activity, students are to create a final project in which they decide what an "ideal" zoo would be like. They are to research and constuct a classroom zoo with students investigating various topics to contribute to the zoo. Suggested topics include: Animals - Reptiles and Amphibians, Primates, Mammals, Fish, Birds; Habitat - Rain Forest, Marine, Wetlands, Desert, and Forest; Zoo Characteristics - Climate and Zoo Location, Overall Design, Exhibit Design, and Animal Care. They have to answer the following questions: "What are you going to name your zoo?, What animals are you going to have at your zoo? Which endangered species will you exhibit? Where are you going to get your animals from? How are you going to build your zoo? Where is your zoo going to be located? What kind of climate does each animal need? What is each habitat going to look like?"
Resources: comprehensive but you might like to also use the following zoo websites: Smithsonian National Zoological Park: http://natzoo.si.edu/ Zootopia - in pursuit of the perfect Zoo (NSW, Australia - Taronga and Western Plains Zoos) http://www.zoo.nsw.gov.au/index.htm Victoria's Three Great Zoos: http://www.zoo.org.au/ Perth Zoo: http://www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au/ Royal Zoological Society of Adelaide: http://www.adelaide-zoo.com.au/ Brisbane's Alma Park Zoo: http://www.almaparkzoo.com.au/ Canberra's National Zoo and Aquarium: http://www.zooquarium.com.au/ San Diego Zoo: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/ Evaluation rubric is provided. Conclusion contains reflection questions: "Did viewing other group's zoos cause you to think of any additional ideas you might like to add to your zoo? How did this assignment cause you to feel about the treatment of animals in zoos? Do you think reform is needed?" Teacher's Guide is comprehensive and contains some Implementation Advice, and, Curriculum Standards but no Duration. Design and Layout: simple and easy to use navigation. Last updated 2005. "
You can see through these two very good WebQuests that students are to explore the issue (real and authentic) by "being" a perspective. They are to use their EI as well as knowledge and bring these aspects to the negiotating table!
Sites: Go and have a look....
Technology Tip......
Get students to use Voki to create a personalised speaking avatar for their perspective!

What is a "real" WebQuest?

by frances 20. June 2009 10:36

I have been coming across some really terrible "WebQuests" lately!

They have been mostly a series of web-based activities around a theme rather than a REAL WebQuest!

What is a REAL WebQuest?

Here are some pointers.........

  1. The WebQuest should incorporate Problem-based Learning (PBL). So there needs to be a messy, authentic problem to solve. This is usually in the form of a Big Question (Focus Question, Essential Question).
  2. It should incorporate Collaborative Learning Principles - group work.
  3. There needs to be roles or perspectives that reflect the society's values. For example, if the problem was around the big question: "Should the International Whaling Commission [IWC] ban Whaling?";
    the roles could be:
    • A Green Peace representative
    • A Japanese Scientist
    • An Indigenous representative, representing those Indigenous peoples whose tradition is to undertake whaling
    • A Whale Watching Entrepreneur who has developed a business around Whale Watching
    • An Historian or UN Lawyer who researches the past decisions around Whaling.
  4. These roles can be antagonistic [as the above example] - where different alliances are formed! But they are NOT to be research roles or reporting roles!

  5. The activities MUST promote Higher Order Thinking

  6. The scaffolding - Introduction, Task, Process, Resources, Evaluation, and Conclusion are present.

  7. The Conclusion calls for further action on the part of the student.

Below is the Criteria that WebQuest Direct uses to provide an Educational Rating for each WebQuest they review:


Section Content Score/135
Home Page
This is to be like a book cover – intriguing and interesting.

There should be a hook here to introduce the students to the big question (has to be an open ended question). 

Images are important here and throughout the WebQuest to enhance visual literacy.
Introduction Catchy Title

Introduces a Real Messy Problem to be solved.
Task Point Form summarising the tasks that the students have to achieve

Background for Everyone

Higher Order Thinking Skill Activities present
Process Interesting and complex (messy) and real problem to solve

Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS) Activities present: This is essential!
o One
o Two
o Three
o More
 Perspectives or Roles present – hopefully antagonistic and reflecting the “real” world. These roles should NOT be research roles only.

Team work – Cooperative Learning

Steps showing students what they have to do – clear, concise, sequential,
/35 (of which 15 points will be assigned to the Messy Problem and 15 points
will be assigned
to HOTS)
Resources Relevant to student age, readability, and, role


Quirky – giving students different perspectives
Evaluation Rubric showing all the tasks that the students are to undertake for assessment

Optional: peer assessment
Optional: self assessment
Conclusion Encourages local and/or further action – another activity that is to be assessed.

Real World Feedback

Reflection of Learning

Is NOT a motherhood statement or platitude eg. “Congratulations, you now know about....”
Teacher's Guide Learners – Age, State, Country,
Curriculum Standards Addressed – listed and linked

Duration – number of lessons (if below 4 lessons, this will be considered a research assignment only – as not enough time has been given to Higher Order Thinking Skills).

Process – Lesson Plans (or, any ideas for other teachers to consider)

Resources – any resources that could be used by the teacher in preparation for this unit of work

Visual Impact/Use of Audio Appropriate Template/Design used on Home Page and subsequent pages

Images or graphics used to aid students

Layout and Design – font size appropriate to target audience; colour of font; navigation; placement of images
 Use of audio especially for students in Pre-school or early Primary/Elementary years.
Use of Technology Technology Skills developed or Technology used eg. Kids Pix; iMovie; Zoomerang; Kahootz; animation; PowerPoint; Wiki; podcast; Inspiration; Mind Mapping; Venn Diagrams /10
  Total Score /135

 Star Rating 

<10 – 19 points = 0 star

20 points = 0.5 star

30 points = 1 star

40 points = 1.5 stars

50 points = 2 stars

60 points = 2.5 stars

70 points = 3 stars

80 points = 3.5 stars

90 points = 4 stars

100 points = 4.5 stars

110 points + = 5 stars

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What is a WebQuest?


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

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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

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