Jason Fuller (email@example.com),
Andrew Gorowski (firstname.lastname@example.org),
and Dean Vendramin (email@example.com)
University College of Cape Breton
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Education 537
August 1, 2004
Concept maps and WebQuests are excellent educational tools that both teachers and students can employ. These methods encourage constructivist methodology, take into account Multiple Intelligences, and utilize the power of technology. To illustrate this point, our group has chosen to do a WebQuest on Medieval Times. This topic is based on curriculum objectives from the Saskatchewan Social Studies Nine program. It is important to know the audience that one will be working with to administer a successful WebQuest that will challenge the students and meet course objectives. A detailed concept map has been developed to help organize the concepts of the WebQuest and form the design for the final web-based project. It is important to research and properly plan technology based assignments to achieve maximum learning potential.
The two methods that will be utilized for this project are concept maps and WebQuests. Our group each took a topic and using the software package Inspiration tackled the task of organizing three topics that dealt with life in Europe during the Middle Ages. We used the technique for representing knowledge in graphs called concept mapping and networked our concepts. (Janes, 2004) The final concept map provides a great overview of the chosen topics, how they relate, and how we will set up our web-based project. The method we decided to employ for our web-based project is a WebQuest. A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented online tool for learning (Dodge, 2004). For ease of understanding, we have included a sample of how the basic framework of the web quest may be linked directly to various elements of the concept map. The actual elements of the concept would be translated into web page elements (web text, video, photo collections, etc) accessible in a non-linear hypertext arrangement, similar in fashion to the format suggested by Rand Spiro’s Cognitive Flexibility Theory. In this manner, students will have access to knowledge elements repeatedly, according to different themes, in order to increase the flexibility of their knowledge mapping and future application. It is hoped that through this project students will be able to explore the Middle Ages and construct their own knowledge and share it with others.
Our group recognizes our audience and has attempted to develop a project that will motivate them and meet their educational needs. We have chosen to base our project from the Saskatchewan Grade Nine curriculum. “ The Grade 9 Social Studies course focuses on the many ways in which ancient cultures have influenced and contributed to the way of life in Canadian society. (Sask Ed., 2004)” Thus keeping in mind the curriculum objectives, we have attempted to accommodate for a variety intelligences that exist in our classroom. “ Gardner advocates instructional methods that appeal to all the intelligences, including role playing, musical performance, co-operative learning, reflection, visualisation, story telling, and so on. (Janes, 2004)” The nine Multiple Intelligences illustrates the variety of learning needs that our audience will have. Each quest would be designed to take advantage of a particular MI strength. Our project attempts to motivate our audience and provide them with the opportunity to take some ownership of their learning.
We strongly believe that we are teaching a new generation, one that is dynamic and able to construct knowledge given a positive learning environment. The combination of the concept map and WebQuest allows teachers to maximize the potential constructivism and new resources and provides students with various ways to acquire knowledge, understand it, and present it like never before.
Bickman, I. (2004). The Door in the Wall and the Middle Ages WebQuest. Retrieved July19, 2004, from http://coe.west.asu.edu/students/ibickman/door/doorindex.htm
Educational Broadcasting Corporatio. (2004). WebQuests. Retrieved July 16, 2004, from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/webquests/index.html
Field, M. (2003). Norman Conquest School Site. Retrieved July 21, 2004, from http://www.normanconquest.co.uk/index.htmlGorman, B. (2004). Medieval Life: Squires, Maidens and Peasants. Retrieved July 20,
alnon, D. (2004). Myths About the Middle Ages. Retrieved July 18, 2004, from http://webpages.charter.net/djhalnon/myths.html
Hemyock Castle (2004). Hemyock Castle. Retrieved July 23, 2004, from http://www.hemyockcastle.co.uk/feudal.htm
History For Kids (2004). The Middle Ages. Retrieved July 20, 2004, from http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/
Horton, J. (2004). Medieval Times: A Culminating Activity. Retrieved on July 21, 2004, from http://www.plainfield.k12.in.us/hschool/webq/webq93/index.htm.
Janes, D. (2004). How Multiple Intelligences Impact Learning Curriculum. Retrieved July 10, 2004, from http://elearning.uccb.ca:8080/SCRIPT/Edu537_77_2004/scripts/serve_home
Janes, D. (2004). What is Concept Mapping? Retrieved July 10, 2004, from http://elearning.uccb.ca:8080/SCRIPT/Edu537_77_2004/scripts/serve_home
uanico, S. (1997). The Role of the King in Relation to the Church. Retrieved July 17, 2004, from http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Tidepool/8194/index12.html Medieval World (2002). Medieval
World - Farming. Retrieved July 19, 2004, from http://www.geocities.com/MedievalWorld/LinksFarming.html Mineer, D.(2002). The Late Medieval
Church. Retrieved July 18, 2004, from http://www.suu.edu/ced/distance/hist4440/topic3.htm
Saskatchewan Education. (2004). Social Studies Nine Curriculum. Retrieved July 26,
2004, from http//www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/midlsoc/gr9/index.html
Spiro, R. J. (1993). Cognitive Flexibility, Constructivism, and Hypertext: Random
Access Instruction for Advanced Knowledge Acquisition in Ill-Structured Domains. Retrieved May 30, 2004 http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/ilt/papers/Spiro.html
Thaxter, S. (1997). LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES - A Medieval WebQuest Retrieved July 18, 2004, from http://curriculum.lexingtonma.org/Medieval%20Webquest%20/MedievalQuest.html
Thinkquest. (1997). Medieval Fiefdom ThinkQuest. Retrieved July 17, 2004, from http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/lofeudal.html
Appendix A – Graphic of Our Medieval Concept Map
(Click Image to see Larger Map)