Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacherís Guide to Disease Alert!
This webquest helps students integrate lessons on viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms (in Unit II) and on human organ systems (in Unit VII) in the Science 2 curriculum.
This webquest meets the following learning competencies listed in the curriculum for 2nd Year Science:
1.2 Describe some common viruses and their effects on host cells
3. Understand human anatomy and physiology
3.1 Describe the parts and functions of the different organ systems
3.2 Identify the parts of the different organ systems in the human body
3.3 Give the functions of the different organ systems
At the same time, the webquest teaches students how to:
1. Use the World Wide Web as a learning resource;
2. Use email to connect with experts;
3. Prepare a multimedia presentation;
4. Work cooperatively and collaboratively in order to produce quality student output; and
5. Assess their own work and those of their peers.
The webquest should be conducted after the lessons on the human anatomy in Unit VII have been completed. This is because the webquest is a specific application of what has been learned in this unit as well as in the lesson on viruses in Unit II.
Before starting on the webquest:
1. Make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with all of the components of the webquest.
2. Prepare a work plan, in which you indicate the inclusive dates for the various steps in the webquest process. The time allotment for each step in the webquest process is indicated in the Process section. But you need to identify the actual dates covered. Your schedule should be such that the webquest is completed in four-five consecutive weeks, not spread out over a long period. This is to ensure a focused interest in the project.
3. Prepare a list of health experts whom your students can consult in Step 3 of the webquest. This will require you to do researchóthat is, to call up the Department of Health, UP Manila National Institutes of Health, and other health research centers, to get the names of the experts on the various diseases. Get the names and contact information, including email addresses. It is also highly recommended that you write a letter to each of these experts to request that they accommodate your studentsí requests for information during Step 3 of the webquest. In your letter, explain the objectives of the webquest and be specific about the kind of information you and your students need from them.
4. Prepare the materials that you will need to distribute to students during the orientation session, such as copies of the webquest (print the printer-friendly version of the webquest, which is marked with a printer icon on the webquest index page of the sourcebook).
5. Coordinate with the Center Manager the use of the computer center (this is one reason why a work plan is needed) and let him/her know of any technical assistance you might need (especially for Steps 2 and 7).
For every step in the webquest, here are the things that you need to do:
Orient your class to the webquest. It is recommended that you give a print copy of the webquest to each group. You can also do the orientation in the computer center, where groups can read the electronic or soft copy of the webquest on a computer assigned to them.
Carefully go over the Task and Evaluation sections of the webquest with your students. And then go over the Process. Encourage students to ask clarificatory questions and be ready to provide answers.
Form groups of four to six members each using the grouping method you decided on prior to starting the webquest. Make sure that there is a mix of abilities in each group.
Give the groups time to decide on the distribution of roles among them. Make sure that the assignment of roles is by consensus among the group members. No one member should decide which roles the other members will play, to ensure that all members will be motivated to participate in the activity.
Assign each group the disease they are to study and report on. You can do this by having group representatives draw slips of paper on which one disease each. There are only 10 diseases listed in the webquest. If there are more groups than diseases listed, two groups may be assigned one disease.
Schedule a class session at the computer center for your students to access the websites listed in the Resources section. This can be on a Saturday (a half-day per section will do perhaps) so that there will be enough time to read the websites and to look for additional resources. Remind the students to complete their background research within one week. They can continue the online research in Internet cafes after school hours.
Remind group members to compare notes and determine the gaps in information that they will fill by consulting the health experts. At this point, give them the list of experts whose email and other contact information you secured beforehand. Also provide a briefing on netiquette or the proper way of communicating with other people through email (and other Internet tools). Netiquette guidelines are available at: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html
Students may opt to do face-to-face interviews. But remind them to first set an appointment by phone or email with the expert whom they wish to interview to make sure the expert is available for this purpose during their visit. Ask students to seek your permission first and to show proof of an appointment before they do face-to-face interviews.
Face-to-face interviews should be their last resort, as it is dangerous for students to be going around unescorted. Tell your students that they can do telephone interviews instead if email is not possible.
Remind students to do this step immediately after their interviews with experts, when the information is fresh in their minds.
The multimedia designers of all groups may need access to the computer center to prepare the presentation design for their group matesí approval. Facilitate access to the computer center for them and request the Center Manager to provide technical assistance if needed.
To help students complete this step, schedule a special class session (at least three hours) at the computer center on a Saturday. Groups should go over the presentation content and the proposed presentation design, and then the multimedia designer can start encoding the group presentation. As groups finalize their work, remind them to consult or be guided by the scoring checklist given in the Evaluation section of the report.
However, the encoding of the group presentation need not be completed on this date. See to it that the multimedia designers have access to the computer center in the days following (during their vacant periods) so that they can complete the group presentations.
Schedule the oral presentation of group outputs in the computer center. Each group should be given about 10 minutes to make their oral presentation. This means that only six groups can make a presentation in one hour and that you will have to devote several class sessions to this step. It is recommended that instead of doing the presentations during regular class sessions, you again pick one Saturday for all of the groups to make their presentations in the computer center. Perhaps one section can be assigned to make presentations in the morning and another section (if there are more than two sections doing the webquest) in the afternoon. The Center Manager and Assistant Center Manager should provide you some assistance.
As each group makes their presentation, grade the presentation using the checklist provided in the Evaluation section of the webquest. To encourage groups to pay attention to each otherís presentations, you can ask them to grade their classmatesí presentations using this same checklist. If you do this, write the checklist on a piece of manila paper and have students write their answer to each question for each presentation made on a piece of paper.
After the last presentation, congratulate your students for completing the webquest, and then do a short synthesis of the lessons learned in the webquest.
Immediately after the group outputs have been submitted, distribute copies of the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms for students to fill in. This is individual work. Each student should therefore have a copy of the forms. An alternative is to write out each form on a piece of manila paper and post these in the classroom for students to copy. The students can simply write their answers to the forms on a piece of paper.
After the webquest (when all group outputs and accomplished student self-assessment and peer evaluation forms have been submitted):
1. Review the points you assigned to each group presentation, assign points to the self-assessment and peer evaluation, and compute each studentís final grade or score for the webquest.
2. Let everyone know his/her score for the project.
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