Adair Edet780 Critique1


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  • Web-based inquiry learning: facilitating thoughtful literacy with WebQuestsBy Ikpeze and Boyd
  • For those of you that don’t know, “A WebQuest is a learning activity used by educators. Webquests were invented by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University in 1995. According to Dodge’s original publication a WebQuest is ‘an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from the resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing’ (Wikipedia, 2009).”“WebQuests can be used not only for content learning but also to conduct research in an authentic, problem-solving environment. WebQuests are designed to make effective use of learners time and to support their thinking and active involvement at the levels of analysis, synthesis, transformation of information, decision making, and evaluation” (Ikpeze & Boyd, 2007).
  • “Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in a team or as part of a “community of practice” to improve the way they address issues and solve problems” (Wikipedia, 2009).
  • “The study participants were six fifth grade students – five boys and one girl. They were all middle class European Americans. They were considered average or above average students by their teacher. The setting was an elementary school located in a small middle income suburban neighborhood near a large urban city. Technology use in the school consisted of having students learn some isolated skills, or use some educational software for specific learning tasks. Each classroom had one to two computers and the school had a well-equipped computer lab” (Ikpeze & Boyd, 2007).
  • Prior to collecting data, a topic for the WebQuest was selected and participants interests and choices were considered. The study lasted 10 weeks and was interdisciplinary (covering social studies, lang arts, and scienceOriginally students were selected to play various roles as a manufacturer, homeowner, teacher, or consumer using the following two guiding questions: 1. What choices can I make to protect the environment? 2. What choices can I make that would be harmful to the environment?
  • Upon further evaluation these questions were found inadequate and a third question was added – Why is environmental protection important?A website was then set up in collaboration with participants, where researchers posted students’ homework and links to other websites. Data collection and analysis were done using action research paradigm
  • *participants were taught for 50 minutes per lesson, 2 to 3 times in a six day cycle at the school’s computer lab*data sources included observations, field notes, written artifacts, evaluation rubrics, and reflective journals*audiotapes of structured and semi-structured interviews of participants, classroom interactions, and discussions were also used
  • Implications for teaching include: *deciding whether to to create the WebQuest from scratch or to adapt an already existing one. *the need to vary teaching methods based on group size to accommodate for various learning types*another important implication is “the need to incorporate learning that is meaningful to the learner” (Ikepeze & Boyd, 2007)
  • *Adequate planning on the part of the teacher is important to the successful learning of students using WebQuests. This includes organizing and supervising the learning environment.*Students also need to have some proficiency with the use of the internet
  • In a nutshell, “Implications for teaching include the necessity for adequate planning, organization, supervision, and scaffolding of learning in a Web environment” (Ikpeze & Boyd, 2007).
  • Adair Edet780 Critique1

    1. 1. May 20, 2009 AEET/EDET 780 Critique 1
    2. 2. Web-based inquiry learning: Facilitating thoughtful literacy with WebQuests Ikpeze, Chinwe H. & Boyd, Fenice B. (2007, April). Web-Based Inquiry Learning: Facilitating Thoughtful Literacy with WebQuests. The Reading Teacher, v60, 644-654. Retrieved on May 16, 2009, from &hid=101&sid=3bd0806e-3b6d-4e63-baaa- 4d750ccef819%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2Z Q%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ759040
    3. 3.  This article titled Web-based inquiry learning: Facilitating thoughtful literacy with WebQuests discusses an action research study that investigated how multiple tasks found in WebQuests facilitate fifth-grade students’ literacy skills and higher order thinking.
    4. 4.  What are WebQuests?
    5. 5.  What is an action research study?
    6. 6.  This study focused the use of WebQuests to design and deliver instruction to improve classroom interaction.  The specific goal was to show how to incorporate and use multiple tasks with WebQuests to promote thoughtful literacy.
    7. 7. Demographics
    8. 8. Data Collection
    9. 9. Data Collection Continued
    10. 10. Data collection consisted of:  Observations  Field notes  Written artifacts  Evaluation rubrics  Reflective journals  Audiotapes
    11. 11. In addition:  participants were taught for 50 minutes per lesson, 2 to 3 times in a six day cycle at the school’s computer lab  audiotapes of structured and semi-structured interviews of participants, classroom interactions, and discussions were also used
    12. 12. “Findings from this study suggest that WebQuests can facilitate thoughtful literacy when tasks are carefully selected, organized, and delivered. Multiple tasks provided opportunities for collaboration, thoughtful connections, and critical reading. Such tasks increased students’ engagement and motivation as well as built search, retrieval, multimedia, and hypertext reading skills” (Ikpeze & Boyd, 2007).
    13. 13. Challenges:  Website navigation- Some students had problems with navigating their way to various websites or even with reading multimedia; however, as the project progressed participants skills improved and students were able to navigate more independently.
    14. 14. Challenges:  Information Overload- Another issue was information overload. Participants often complained about the amount of information on some websites. Participants had to be taught chunking, skimming, and scanning for information.
    15. 15. Challenges:  Distractibility- Another issue was distractibility. Participants often used computer time to visit their favorite websites, play online games, or check email. This continued to be a problem throughout the project.
    16. 16.  Implications for teaching
    17. 17.  Implications continued…
    18. 18. Another key point that researchers made is, “To ensure that teachers use WebQuests constructively as a learning tool, teacher education and professional development programs should incorporate WebQuests. This is important because many teachers still do not feel comfortable using Internet resources for their teaching” (Ikpeze& Boyd, 2007).
    19. 19. Summary of Implications:  Webquest creation  Varying teaching methods  Learner motivation  Adequate planning  Participant proficiency with Internet  Teacher proficiency with technology  Organization  Supervision  Scaffolding of learning in a Web environment
    20. 20. I think that this research study provides users with a lot of good information about WebQuests and their benefits to students. I think in order to expand on this information it would be a good idea to conduct additional action research studies using larger participant groups that more closely resembled an actual class size. In addition, I think it would be good conduct research into how much teacher training focuses on WebQuests and the outcomes of those trainings.
    21. 21. This research study is well-organized and provides a thorough explanation of the action research. The results were explained in categories and the implications for teaching were explained in great detail. As previously stated action research differs from experimental study research.
    22. 22. Some common complaints of action research are:  Is the research driven by the researcher’s agenda?  Is the research motivated by instrumental goal attainment?  Is the research motivated by the aim of personal, organizational, or societal transformation.
    23. 23. In my opinion, action research, no matter how well worded, gives off the appearance that it was influenced by researchers because there is no clear cut data that provides a definite answer. However, I believe that the researchers did a good job of providing detailed information. They were quick to point out how the project changed as it progressed and they were willing to discuss implications for using WebQuests in the future.
    24. 24. In the end, the researchers stated that WebQuests did facilitate literacy skills and higher order thinking, but they were also quick to say that adequate planning, organization, supervision, and teacher training were needed in order to see the full benefits of WebQuests in the classroom.
    25. 25. One of the drawbacks that I found to this research study was the small size of the participant group. Realistically, most classrooms have at least 15-20 students and the fact that the participant group consisted of only 6 participants may make it difficult for teachers to buy into the idea that using WebQuests will promote learning with a larger class size.
    26. 26. Overall, I think this was good study that provides valuable information to teachers. I like that the researchers included information about the amount of structure and organization required from teachers in order for others to see similar results with their students. I also like that the study brings up the topic of teacher training. I think that any research that results in suggestions for additional teacher training in the of technology is a benefit to all students. I hope to use the knowledge I learned from this article to promote teacher usage of technology in instruction.
    27. 27. Ikpeze, Chinwe H. & Boyd, Fenice B. (2007, April). Web-Based Inquiry Learning: Facilitating Thoughtful Literacy with WebQuests. The Reading Teacher, v60, 644-654. Retrieved on May 16, 2009, from &hid=101&sid=3bd0806e-3b6d-4e63-baaa- 4d750ccef819%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2Z Q%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ759040 Wikipedia: Action Research. Retrieved May 19, 2009, from /Action_research Wikipedia: WebQuest. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from /WebQuests