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

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Who's Reading?: A Webquest for Fourth Year High School (Mathematics & English)

Authored by P. Arinto with inputs from N. Patlingrao, Z. Guzman, and D. Seranias

Introduction
Some eminent writers in our country are complaining that we are not a reading people. They say that the Filipino youth especially are a non-reading population. Is this true? What do we really know about the reading habits of our young people today?

Task
In response to the complaints of our eminent writers, the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched a Reading Campaign in Philippine public high schools. But DepEd needs our help. Before they can start the campaign, they must first get data on the actual reading habits of high school students.

DepEd needs you to do a survey of the reading habits of your fellow students at Bitoon National Vocational School. You will do the survey in groups, with each group being assigned one to two sections each (we will survey all sections in all four year levels). You will then submit a report of your survey results. The report will include such information as:

What percentage of their time do the male and female students spend reading
What types of reading materials the male and female students prefer to read and what they actually read
What influences the male and female students’ choice of reading materials
What are the attitudes of male and female students to reading
What reading difficulties the male and female students experience
What the male and female students do to solve these reading difficulties
What recommendations the male and female students have to improve the reading habits of high school students

The report will have six parts as follows:
1. Introduction
2. Description of the survey sample and survey methodology
3. Presentation of survey results (with tables)
4. Statistical analysis (computations of rates of responses and the mean, median and mode; graphs of the rates of response and comparison of responses of males and females)
5. Summary, conclusion, and recommendations
6. Questionnaire used

Does this sound like a daunting task? Don’t worry. We will follow a strategy to make the task manageable. Read on!

Process
Step 1 – Getting Started
You will work on this project in groups of 6 members each. You will form your groups with the help of your teacher.

Each group will be assigned to conduct the survey on a specific section (or two sections) in BNVS. For example, Group 1 could be assigned to survey 3rd year Section 1 while Group 2 could be assigned to survey 1st year Section 4. Your teacher will assign the year level and section for each group. (Perhaps you will draw lots for this.)

Each member of your group will have special roles to play. As soon as you know who your group mates are, get together and discuss among yourselves who will take on which role (these are listed below). Be sure that each member is comfortable with the role assigned to him/her.

Roles Responsibilities
Statistician (2)
  • Will determine the actual survey sample (that is, who will be asked to fill in the survey questionnaire) and co-write with the reading specialists Part 2 of the group report;
  • Will do the basic statistical analysis of the results—that is, get the response rate per item and compute for the mean, median, and mode of the survey results, and write Part 4 of the group report; and
  • Will generate the graphs showing the results of the basic statistical analysis (for Part 4 of the report).
Reading
Specialist (2)
  • Will formulate the survey questionnaire; and
  • Will write the text of the survey report (after results are collected and analyzed statistically), specifically Parts 1 and 5.
Interviewer (2)
  • Will administer the survey questionnaire to the target respondents, and collect the accomplished questionnaires, and then co-write Part 2 of the group report; and
  • Will tabulate the responses to the survey questions and write Part 3 of the report.

Step 2 – Doing the Background Research

Before you can actually do your task, you must learn how to do a survey and how to do basic statistical analysis. We will learn these skills through an online treasure hunt that your teacher will do with you in the computer center. In this online treasure hunt, you will read websites that contain information on how to conduct a survey and how to do simple statistical analysis. You will also do a mini-survey to practice your newly learned skills before you do the survey of reading habits of high school students in our community.

In addition to the resources you will read in the online treasure hunt, you must also have background knowledge on studies of reading that are similar or related to the kind of research you are expected to do in this webquest. Here are some online articles on reading habits and related topics:

Young People’s Reading in South Africa: A Pilot Project
http://www.childlit.org.za/youngpeople.html

A Summary of the Children's Literature Research Centre Survey of Young People's Reading Habit
http://www.la-hq.org.uk/groups/ylg/archive/ylr22_1.htm

Strategies for encouraging reading among young people
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/campaign/youth.html

Attitudes Towards Reading—Children and Young People
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/stats/readchild.html#ireland

Young People Are Reading—Everything but the Newspapers
http://www.cjr.org/archives.asp?url=/02/4/kohutvoice.asp

Young People’s Reading in 2001
http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/childhoodstudies/surveys.asp

National Education Association (NEA) Poll on the Reading Habits of Adolescents
http://library.lhs.usd497.org/AnnualReport2001-2002.html

Teen Read Week Survey
http://www.smartgirl.org/speakout/archives/trw1999/trwsummary.html
(Note: Click on the links at the bottom of the page for more detailed information on survey results.)

The background research that you will do in this step of the webquest is essential. You must do this step before you do your survey so you will know what to look for and how to look for it.

You must complete this step within one week.

Step 3 – Selecting the Survey Sample and Constructing the Questionnaire

At this point, the statisticians should know the total population of the section assigned to them and on this basis decide how many in that section will constitute the actual sample for the survey. They will also decide on their method of sampling (that is, whether random or purposive) and on this basis, identify from a list of all possible respondents (to be provided by your teacher) the actual respondents.

Meanwhile, the reading specialists should construct the survey questionnaire, keeping in mind what information is required in the final survey report to be submitted by the group. When formulating the questionnaire, aim for clarity of the questions and plan for how to collate the survey results. Remember that closed questions make collation of results easier. However, it may be wise to include an open-ended question or two as well. Also, keep the survey questionnaire short (can be answered in 15 minutes) so that the respondents will not find answering it tedious. And do not forget to ask for basic information about the respondents like age and sex.

This step should be completed in one week. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to ask your teacher for it.

Step 4 – Conducting the Survey

This is the job of the interviewers in the group. First of all, they should get the list of actual respondents from the statisticians. They should also get the final survey questionnaire from the reading specialists.

Make enough copies of the questionnaire and distribute one copy each to the interviewees. You can do this by giving the list of interviewees to their class adviser and requesting him/her to distribute the questionnaire for you. Or you could ask the teacher to give you 5 minutes of his/her class time to call on the interviewees so you can distribute the questionnaire yourself. You can request the interviewees to fill up the questionnaire at home or during their free time in school, and then collect the filled in questionnaire a day later.

Step 5 – Analyzing the Survey Results & Preparing the Report

Once the interviewers have collected the filled in questionnaires, they should summarize the answers and tabulate those that should be tabulated. Remember that you need to separate the answers of the male respondents and the female respondents. And then write Part 3 of the group report, as well as the section of Part 2 that is your responsibility (description of the survey methodology).

The results, including tables, should be passed on to the statisticians who will compute for rate of responses per question, and the mean, median, and mode. They will also generate the graphs of these results and then write Part 4 of the group report. The statisticians will also write a section of the Part 2 of the group report (the description of the sampling method used and the reason for this choice).

The draft of Parts 3 and 4 of the report should be given to the reading specialists. On the basis of the survey findings, the reading specialists should write Parts 1 and 6 of the report. They should also organize the graphs and tables, and provide the necessary explanatory sentences and paragraphs for the more important results.

This step should be completed in two weeks.

Step 6 – Finalizing the Report

Meet as a group and go over the draft report (complete with tables and graphs). Make sure everyone in the group reads the report. Discuss points for improvement and then together make those improvements.

Attach a clean copy of the survey questionnaire to your report (place after the report), and a list of references used, if any.

Once everyone is satisfied with the report, submit it to your teacher. (The due date for the survey report will have been announced by your teacher at the start of this webquest.)

Step 7 – Self-Assessment and Peer Evaluation

Fill in the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms and submit the accomplished forms on the due date. Each member of the group will do this.

Evaluation
Every part of your group report will be given a score based on the following rubric:

Part
 
Needs Improvement
(1 point)
Fair
(3 points)
Very Good
(5 points)
1. Introduction

 
Fails to catch the reader’s attention; is not to the point; is wordy (as opposed to “brief”); and contains many grammatical mistakes
 
Catches the attention of the reader and is relevant to the topic of the report but not brief enough and contains several mistakes in grammar

OR

Is brief and relevant to the topic of the report but does not sufficiently attract or appeal to the reader’s interest; also contains several errors in grammar
Catches the attention of the reader; AND

Has direct relevance to the topic of the report; AND

Is brief and to the point; AND

Observes the rules of grammar
2. Description of the Survey Sample and Survey Methodology



 
Total population size is not indicated and therefore there is no way of determining if actual sample size is correct; AND

Method used for identifying actual sample size is incorrect; AND

Method used in administering the questionnaire is not clear; AND

There are too many grammatical errors
Size of total population is indicated and actual sampling size is adequate but there are errors in the method for choosing respondents OR the method is correct but the actual sample size is too small or too large relative to the total population ;

AND

Method of administering the survey is described but not very clearly because of errors in grammar
Clearly indicates the size of the total population (the total number of students in the section assigned to the group); AND

Indicates an adequate number of survey respondents; AND

Indicates the correct method for choosing respondents; AND

Clearly describes method of administering the questionnaire; AND

Observes the rules of grammar
3. Presentation of Survey Results



 
Organization is haphazard/Data not organized logically; AND

It is not clear which results are important; AND

Tables are incorrect and confusing
Organization is logical AND tables are correct and easy to understand BUT not all of the important results are emphasized

OR

Organization is logical AND important results are emphasized BUT the tables are incomplete or unclear
Organization is logical; AND

Important results are given emphasis; AND

Tables are correct and easy to understand
4. Statistical Analysis



 
Computations are wrong AND graphs are incorrect Computations are accurate but the graphs contain some errors or are not clear/easy to understand Computations of rates of response and mean, median, and mode are accurate; AND

Graphs are used to highlight important survey results; AND

Graphs are correct
5. Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations



 
Summary is long; Conclusions are incorrect or not logical; AND

Recommendations are trivial and/or irrelevant
Summary is a bit long but highlights all of the major points AND

conclusions drawn are correct/logical BUT recommendations are not so relevant
Summary is brief but includes all important points; AND

Conclusions drawn are correct/logical in view of the survey data; AND

Recommendations are relevant
6. Questionnaire



 
Questions are difficult to understand and ill-structured; AND

Questions are not arranged logically; AND

Questionnaire is incomplete
Questions are clearly phrased and well-structured BUT the order of questions can be improved AND the questionnaire is a bit long, requiring more time of the respondent to answer

OR the questionnaire is short and the questions well arranged BUT some question are difficult to understand
Questions are clearly phrased/easy to understand and well-structured; AND

Questions are arranged logically; AND

Questionnaire is short but comprehensive/includes all important areas

You should notice from the above rubric that every part of your report counts. So you must make sure to read your entire report and help each other improve each part so that your final submission is one that you think meets the criteria for quality work. Members of a group will of course receive the same score for the group report.

Each of you will also receive a score for the self-assessment and the peer evaluation. Each of these shall comprise 10% of your final individual grade for this webquest project. The bulk of your grade (80%) for this project will come from the score for the group report.

Conclusion

So are those eminent writers right when they say young people in the Philippines don’t read? What does your survey result say about this?

Doing a survey of your schoolmates’ reading habits should develop your skills in conducting survey, analyzing survey results, and writing a report of survey results. Even if you never do another survey again in your life, now you know how surveys are done and how they are reported. Equally important, this webquest project should remind you that reading is important and that you must develop an interest in reading.
 
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