Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests


DISEASE ALERT!: A WebQuest for Second Year High School (Science)

Authored by N. Espesor and P. Arinto

There is an outbreak of different diseases in the remote areas in the Philippines. The government is calling on all sectors of society to extend assistance. As part of the outreach program of the school, your principal has asked your class to find out more about the diseases plaguing your countrymen and women.

Your task is to give the people information about the diseases that affect their area, including the symptoms, causes, and effects. Also, you must be able to suggest how they can prevent these diseases from spreading.

Each group will study and describe one of the following diseases: typhoid, malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, diabetes, cholera, measles, hepatitis B, leprosy, and influenza (including SARS).

Your group must be able to come up with a multimedia presentation (using MS PowerPoint or StarOffice Presentation software) that will raise public awareness of a specific disease. You will gain expertise in the disease assigned to your group by using resources on the Internet, reading print sources from the library, and interviewing by email doctors and/or experts from the Department of Health and other local centers of expertise.

Your group presentation will consist of six-seven slides (with text and graphics/photos) containing the following information:

signs and symptoms – 1-2 slides
causes (organisms that cause the disease) - 1 slide
short-term and long-term effects (on body organs) - 1-2 slides
prevention - 1 slide
graph showing the prevalence of the disease in the Philippines - 1 slide
local experts/groups studying and working on controlling the disease in the Philippines – 1 slide

To accomplish the task, follow these steps:

1. You will be assigned to a team of 4-6 members each. Each team will study a specific disease. Your teacher will assign which disease each team will report on. To make sure that everyone in the team makes a contribution, divide the following roles among yourselves:

Roles Responsibilities
Member 1 · collect information and prepare the text for the slide/s on the signs and symptoms of the disease assigned to the group
· collect information and prepare the text for the slide on the causes of the disease
Member 2 · collect information and prepare the text for the slide/s on the short-term and long-term effects of the disease assigned to the group
· collect information and prepare the text for the slide on how to prevent the disease from spreading
Member 3 · collect data on the prevalence of the disease in the Philippines and make a graph showing this data
· collect data on which experts and organizations in the Philippines are studying the disease
Member 4 · serve as team postmaster or email coordinator
· serve as the multimedia designer: prepare the actual multimedia presentation
· make the oral presentation to the rest of the class

If there are more than four team members, the roles of Member 2 and 4 can be shared by two members each.

2. When you have agreed on your individual roles, begin reading about the disease assigned to your team. A list of online articles is given in the Resources section. However, this list is not comprehensive. You also need to read print resources on your topic. You will find these resources in the school library and other libraries.

As you read, take detailed notes for the section of the team report that is assigned to you.

You have one week for this part of the research.

3. Meet as a team to go over your notes and identify the gaps in information that you can fill by interviewing doctors and researchers from the Department of Health and its affiliate offices, the National Institutes of Health, and the Philippine General Hospital.

Very likely, the missing information will include local statistics—that is, how many in the Philippines are afflicted with the disease, what are the specific causes of the disease in the Philippines, and how is the disease being managed (treated and controlled) in the Philippine context. You can also ask for information on who or which individuals or groups in the Philippines are taking the lead in studying and managing the disease (for example, there is a Malaria Study Group at the University of the Philippines Manila).

You will interview local experts by email, not face-to-face. The list of email addresses of Department of Health officials can be found at this website: http://www.doh.gov.ph/emailadress.htm. For the names and email addresses of experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - UP Manila, email nih@upm.edu.ph.

It is possible that when you email someone, that person will say he/she does not know the answer to your questions. You can then ask him/her to refer you to someone who does know. Be sure to ask for email addresses.

In order that the experts you are corresponding with will not feel overwhelmed, do send email as a team. That is, instead of each member emailing individually, put together all of your questions in one email and assign one of your members as the team postmaster or email coordinator. This person will also check your email box for responses, print these and give you a copy.

Print the emails you send and receive. These will have to be submitted along with your team presentation.

You have two weeks to get local information through email interviews.

4. Organize the data or information you gathered from your research in the library and on the Internet and from your email interviews, and begin writing the content of your team presentation. Each member should prepare the content of the slide assigned to him/her. Each slide should contain graphics/pictures and text. The text is in the form of short phrases and sentences, not long paragraphs.

Note that this is not yet the time to actually prepare the slide. All you have to do is prepare or draft the content of the slides. You have two days to make your drafts. At the same time, the multimedia designer should be choosing the font styles, font sizes, animation features, and presentation designs that your group should use.

You should complete this step in one-two days.

5. Meet as a group and go over each other’s drafts. Comment on each other’s drafts and improve these together. Also comment on the multimedia designer’s suggested design for the team presentation.

When you are satisfied with the suggested content and format of your team presentation, turn over your drafts to the graphic designer for him/her to encode. The multimedia designer will also prepare the team presentation by encoding the text and scanning and placing the pictures, if any.

You have one week to complete this task.

6. Afterwards, meet as a group and review the presentation prepared by the graphic designer. Agree on what changes or improvements to make, if any, and implement these immediately (during the meeting).

7. Be ready to make your presentation to the rest of the class on the date assigned by your teacher. You will also submit an electronic copy of your presentation after you have made the oral presentation.

8. Submit your duly accomplished self-assessment and peer evaluation forms on the due date.

The links below will direct you to overviews of each disease. You may consult other sources, of course, including print sources (e.g., medical books). You will also need to get information on each disease in the
Philippines from our local experts and references.


All About Typhoid Fever


All about dengue fever
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001374.htm (Click on the buttons under “Contents of this page”)

http://www.aidsmeds.com/OIs/TB1.htm (Click on the buttons on the right for more information)


http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/intro/index.htm (Click on the links)

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/cholera/globaltaskforce/en/ (Click on the links to find more information)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/influenza/id439101.html (Click on the links in this an interactive module)

Hepatitis B
http://www.who.int/emc-documents/hepatitis/docs/whocdscsrlyo20022/introduction/introduction.html (Click on the buttons in the menu bar on the left to find out more)
http://www.hepb.org/02-0119.hepb (Click on the links on the left)

http://w3.whosea.org/leprosy/introduction.htm (Click on the buttons on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the page for more information)


Your group presentation will be graded as follows:

Criterion Yes
(2 pts)
(1 pt)
(0 pt)
A. Signs & Symptoms      
1. Are the signs and symptoms well explained?      
2. Are the body organs affected correctly identified?      
3. Are the signs and symptoms clearly illustrated by graphics?      
B. Causes      
1. Are the causes of the disease properly identified?      
2. Is there a graphic presentation?
(for example, pictures of dirty water, trash improperly disposed)
C. Effects (short-term and long-term)      
1. Are the body organs that are affected identified?      
2. Are the short-term effects properly identified explained?      
3. Are the long-term effects properly identified explained?      
4. Is there a graphic presentation (for example, picture of organ affected      
D. Prevention      
1. Are the preventive measures identified?      
2. Do they properly address the causes and effects of the disease?      
E. Prevalence      
1. Does it include the number of persons affected by the disease?      
2. Does it say what places are most affected?      
3. Does it indicate the age groups affected?      
4. Does it state what genders are affected?      
5. Does it present the data in graphic form (e.g., map, chart)?      
1. Are the colors, fonts, and other effects used in the slide presentation appropriate for the content?      
2. Is the presentation well organized?      
3. Is the presentation audible and clear?      
4. Is the presentation brief but adequate?      

The individual grade of each student will be computed thus:
Item Percent of Grade
Team presentation 70%
Self-assessment 15%
Peer Evaluation 15%
Total 100%

Your score for this project will constitute 25% of your grade in the third grading period.

Health is wealth, the wise saying goes. Unfortunately, most people do not care to learn about common diseases enough to prevent their occurrence. This webquest should help you realize that you do not have to be a doctor to care about preventing disease. Disease prevention is everyone’s concern.