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Testing, Assessment and Evaluation using a WebQuest
by Nellie Deutsch


Last issue we laid the groundwork for using collaborative projects, such as WebQuests, in the classroom:
In addition to other features, a webQuest is an alternative way of testing students' social and cognitive skills:
  • Students collaborate in teams as they work on a task-based project. Throughout work on the WebQuest, students are encouraged to use high order thinking as they work on the task and reach a final conclusion.
  • Both the process and the final product are evaluated.
  • The students access information, summarize their findings, and produce a final written presentation.
  • And the final product is presented both orally and in written form, so that students are tested for oral and written proficiency while they practice reading, writing, and speaking.

As we said last time, the WebQuest is organized into 6 parts: introduction, task, process, resources, evaluation, conclusion and reflection. Each section has a specific role.

Here are some examples from 3 of my literature based WebQuests: The Perfect Society based on The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Last Spin by Evan Hunter, and Apples from the Desert by Savyon Liebrecht.

Introduction: This phase introduces the task and motivates the students to form teams in order to solve or resolve a problem.

The Perfect Society: Lois Lowry wrote a novel about a community that seems to function perfectly. The Giver describes a perfect society. What makes this community flawless? How has it managed to keep things organized and under perfect control? It seems that man has finally found the ideal way to live until one member of the community starts to uncover flaws. What went wrong?

You have been assigned by the elders of the community to investigate why Jonas, a promising young man chose to leave the community. What made this gifted individual, chosen to be the next Giver rebel against the norms? What went wrong? What flaws did he reveal about this seemingly perfect community?

See also:
The Last Spin:
Apples from the Desert

Task: The task is divided among the team members. Each member is responsible for his or her specific role within the team.

The Perfect Society: The Team will investigate and uncover why Jonas left the community. They will list the reasons for his leaving and recommend alternatives so this will never happen again. The results of the investigation will be presented in a written report . The committee will create a journal where they will keep track of all the information they disclose from observations and interviews. The information will be added to the appendix of the final report.

The team will collaborate, write their final report, and present it to the elders for review. Once approved, the findings will be presented in the main auditorium using audio and visual effects.

The committees' final written reports and presentations will include suggestions on how to improve the life style of the community so that it becomes a perfect society once again. Both written and presentations will be done in a convincing way so that they capture the attention of the whole community. The presentations can be done by creating a team blog, a website, a PowerPoint presentation, a video film, by creating music and lyrics, a play, or composing a dance.

See also:
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Process: The process provides the students with step by step guidelines on how to work on the task. The first step is to form teams and decide on team roles. Students need to collaborate on the final written paper and present their work orally in front of the class.

The Perfect Society: The following guidelines will help you and your team:

  1. Organize yourselves in teams of four. Find out about team organization and work on the following page:

  2. Make sure everyone on the team has read The Giver by Lois Lowry. You should refer to the story as you work on the project.

  3. Read the Task and divide your work among the team members. Each member will interview another member of the community and find out what happened to Jonas. This can be his parents, sister, friends, The Giver or any other member of the community you feel would offer relevant clues as to what happened.

  4. You may write your individual interview reports according to the following format or create your own questions.

  5. The final product is a collaborative writing report that sums up the four interviews. The interviews are added to the appendix. The writing report consists of seven parts.

  6. Each member will be evaluated for both team and individual work:

  7. Edit your written observations and the results of your interviews as a team. Check the team evaluation rubrics: to find out how you will be graded for team work.

  8. Plan your presentation

  9. You are encouraged to present your work in a creative way. You can use visual aids and other multimedia techniques such as video, audio or PowerPoint presentations, blogs, podcasts, websites, or a combination of one or two ideas.

  10. Make sure that each member of the committee is ready to present one aspect of the findings. Check the team evaluation rubric for your presentation:

  11. The grade is out of 100: 25 points for the individual work, 25 for the team presentation and 50 points for the team collaborative writing report.

  12. Do not hesitate to ask questions throughout the project. Your teacher and I will be available. Please use the following page to send questions to me:

See also:
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Resources: Websites are provided. Students access the Internet for information, summarize their findings, and collaborate on the team's final project and oral presentation.

The Perfect Society: The Giver: Notes on the book

Utopia: A perfect society
Utopia by Thomas Moore:

Definition and other material on the subject of utopia:

Utopian Studies:

PowerPoint assistance:

Journal guides:


The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Evaluation: A rubric is available for evaluation and assessment. The process and final product are evaluated.

Examples: The Perfect Society: Your grade will based on the following criteria:

1. Individual interview and report of one of the members of the community (25 points).

2. Team final written report of the committee's findings (50 points).

3. The team presentation of the committee's final conclusion (25 points).
The team will present their findings to the class by audio and visual means.
The team presentation will be at least 5 minutes long.
One member will introduce the topic.
Each member of the team will speak about their individual work.
Another member will add the conclusion.

The presentation will include both audio and visual effects.
You may present your work by means of: PowerPoint, video, movie, art, poster work, music, or dance.

The team will be graded for structure and content:


Did the presentation have an effective introduction?
Were the major points illustrated, explained and summarized?
Was there an effective transition between the main points?
Did it have an effective conclusion?


Was the content accurate?
Did the presentation hold the class' interest?
Were presentation media used effectively?

See also:
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Conclusion: Students are encouraged to reflect and think as they collaborate with others on the task.

The Perfect Society: How perfect was the society in The Giver? Did Jonas do the right thing by leaving his community?

See also:
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Presentation: Each team will present their findings and possible solutions in a creative way. This can be done by video or PowerPoint presentations. It's important to plan carefully so that the presentation is persuasive, creative and appealing.

The Perfect Society
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

Reflection: WebQuests encourage students to reflect and use higher order critical thinking skills as they work on the task and collaborate as a team. Students reflect on the process, their team experiences, and the WebQuest task. Feedback is an important aspect of learning.

The Perfect Society: Your feedback is very important for the future success of the WebQuest and collaborative project. Please fill in and submit the following reflection forms and send them to your teacher.

See also:
The Last Spin
Apples from the Desert

In addition to WebQuests providing easy-to-follow guidelines for teacher and student, I find WebQuests a good way to test students and prepare them for the English Oral Bagrut relating to projects. I have used The Perfect Society WebQuest for an international collaborative learning project with students from Canada and am currently using Apples from the Desert WebQuest with a school in Italy.

I will be starting a free course (Moodle) on how to create and use WebQuests January 7, 2007. You are welcome to join the class by registering ahead of time at
The course will be both asynchronous and synchronous which means it will be done at your own pace but with one or two real time presentations through a virtual conference room.

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