About "Composting Saves": In this webquest students have to research various methods of composting. Then, they have to choose a method that they like. For their assignments, they have to make a poster board that describes the process that they chose. They have to include step by step instructions and pictures.
Weakness: The teacher gives her students 11 websites to visit. I think that is a little overkill. Too many websites on the same topic is a weakness to me. I would have listed six and then had the students look up their own.
Strength: The teacher states that the best posters will be laminated and publicly displayed in the school. I like that idea. She is motivating her students to do their best work. This is a strength. I would have made a different project though. I found an article in a magazine about composting. It suggested making a "micro-compost pile" using half a two-liter bottle. I would have had the students use their composting methods to create a small scale compost pile and put these somewhere for other students to view.
MY WEBQUEST URL Where have all the honeybees gone?
I designed a webquest for a classroom of mainstream high school biology students. The students are divided into four groups. I presented the groups with the issue of disappearing honey bee populations. Then I purposed four major theories that scientists are currently debating. I asked the students to decide which theory they agree with, to decide which theory they want to disprove, and to offer a solution. I required that they use a minimum of three sources for their research. The groups would present their information as a slide show and give a speech. I incorporated multiple web tools that my students could use for free.
Challenges That I Encountered
- I didn't pay attention to the "Advice" tab. I typed up an entire student page including web links and multiple paragraph formats in the teacher section. This sounds like an easy fix, right? Wrong. I couldn't cut, copy, or paste. I had to re-type the entire page. The second page looked better. Note to self: once you create a page, you cannot copy and paste from it.
- In the age of Autosave, Questgarden is way behind. You MUST click "Save" at the bottom of each section before you leave that section. I had to re-type several things before I realized what was happening. Always hit SAVE.
- I liked the Checkpoint questions. I didn't like typing out my answers but I found the questions very helpful. They were pointed and helped me include all the vital elements.
- The Evaluation page sucked. I hated it. I should have kept the original formatting. I deleted some of it. When I wanted to add those features back in, I couldn't get it to look the same. I checked out the "Help" section several times to no avail. I had a hard time writing what was in head out in those little boxes.
- I totally did not understand the resource section. I clearly labeled all pictures and cited my information. I didn't want to make a page listing every single website that I had already listed within the webquest. It seemed redundant.
- Pictures have to be a 500 pixels x 500 pixels or less. I couldn't upload several of my own pictures. I had to use the internet for most of the graphics. The Jing app has been really helpful. Most of the screenshots that I take save as small sized images in terms of kilobytes. I'm still learning how to focus my screen shot to capture the important details of an image. Some of my pictures are not as close up as I would like but you get the main idea.