webquest and the children of Argentina’s disappeared

14 08 2009

Fabulous session. I did not know WebQuest before and have learnt quite a bit from this session. Excellent session. I can use it in my human rights classes, but also can and will think of ways to use it when teaching technology such as computer technology or especially internet technologies. Love the idea, love the concept. Here are my notes:

The children of Argentina’s disappeared: exploring complex culture phenomena in the classroom through a webquest.

courtneyPresenter: Courtney Fell, University of Colorado.

A webquest is a web project that you create for your students, and its purpose is to guide students through a multi-step activity, using resources on the web to answer a central, open-ended question. To answer that question students must transform the new material in a creative way. The learning structure is scaffolded so as to optimize student performance. The website is a foundation so students can use for their resource.

It has 5 steps: intro, task , process, evaluation, conclusion, credits. Put resources online and put handouts and worksheets to help them complete the process. You assign group roles. The process is the central part of a webquest.

A webquest is designed to be shared and thus invites use by other instructors with its ‘Teachers’ portion of the site. This part of the site explains the audience and purpose the webquest and provides helpful tips for how other instructors can use the same activity. So it has other webquests that you can use to help you create your own.

Eg. a webquest called questgarden.com called carpetbaggers. Students explore the perspective of a Northern family who will either support or discouraging on of their relatives. Another webquest is called the us/Mexican border: explores border patrol agents, blue collar American workers, legal Mexican and illegal Mexican. Students explore this and then write a letter to a fictional US president with their perspective.

Una Nina Robada is another webquest: http://webquestninosrobados.com After seeing a film called Cautiva, students had to decide the fate of the characters of the case of Cristina Quadri. Who deserves to be punished in the case, under what charges and for how long? To establish the culpability of the participants, in class we will have a ‘day in court’ during which each of you will form a part of the accusation, the defense, the witnesses or the jury. At the end of the trial the students decided charges and then wrote a personal reaction paper about the findings in the trial.

First choose a topic – one that you taught before but did not find successful with students. The topic should be open-ended and not have a yes/no answer. Are there primary sources that could be used? [newspapers, youtube videos, databases of legal documents, official databases of photos and occurrences, online testimonials etc.]. The design format is the most fun part of the webquest. Choose a format and design pattern. Exmples include ‘alternative history, behind the book,’ etc. Students write diaries of two or more people in specific times and places while keeping to a common stucture that shows their similarities and differences. Create the content: begin with the central question that the students must answer. Next begin developing the steps. It is important to always return to the central question.

Courtney did a survey of students using it and their response papers at the end were much deeper and they had a greater understanding. They loved the mock trial in the end.




2 responses

15 08 2009

I am very, very proud of my daughter for these accomplishments– creating the webquest and making the conference presentation.

15 08 2009

You should be. She was GREAT.

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