Global Schoolhouse Home Home Base: Harnessing the Power of the WebIntro to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based LearningBuilding Collaborative Student Web ProjectsGuide to Conducting Research on the InternetLibrary of References, Readings and ResourcesTable of Contents
Building a
Web Project
Building teams
Protect your
Web projects
Web project
Further reading
1. Define audience and purpose
2. Teach something "new"
3. Cite sources
4. Encourage feedback
5. Include reflection pages
6. Balance content with presentation
7. Make it current
8. Keep it simple and accessible
Communications: The Real Power of the Web
A Visit to Hillside School

6. Balance Content with Presentation

A standard complaint about student desktop publishing and multimedia presentations is that students spend too much time tinkering with fonts, graphics and layouts and not enough time developing the ideas and content of their presentation.

Unfortunately, this criticism also applies to many student Web presentations, "exhibits," and "portfolios," which seem to consist of "my cool links" and little else of consequence.

The value of your Web pages to visitors will be in the original content that you contribute to the larger community. One of your primary jobs, therefore, will be to help students strike a better balance between content and presentation and to help them develop the varieties of skills they need to produce meaningful and useful presentations that actually say something.

However, the nature of the medium requires you to also attend to the esthetic attributes of a Web presentation: in order to draw readers in, and hold their attention, it must be be both visually and contextually interesting.

Consequently, when we look at a student Web project we strive to evaluate the site for both content as well as esthetic presentation. You'll find an example of how we attempted to strike this balance in the discussion of peer review in the International Schools CyberFair peer evaluations which is summarized below.

The CyberFair Peer Review Evaluation Rubric is divided into five sections, labeled from "A" to "E". The rubric establishes a score of 5 points for each of the fives sections scored.

For scoring purposes, these five sections are grouped into two categories. The chart below shows these two categories and the sections that comprise them, with the maximum points for each:

Since a project which draws in visitors and then keeps their interest must be both visually appealing as well as contextually interesting and well-written, there must be a balance between the appearance and the content.

Therefore, we use this process when calculating the final scores:

  1. The scores for each of the five sections (B-F) are averaged
  2. The average scores for the sections in both categories are added
  3. The totals for each of the two categories are multiplied.
I. Content/Organization 15 points
A. Ideas and Content 5 points
B. Organization 5 points
C. Language Conventions 5 points
II. Hypermedia/Technical 10 points
D. Presentation 5 points
E. Technical 5 points
Maximum score: 150 points
(15 X 10 = 150)

For instance, if the maximum score for
   Category I. Content & Organization is 15, and
   Category II. Hypermedia & Technical is 10,
then the maximum possible score is 150 (15 X 10).

This scoring method requires students to pay equal attention to all three categories, since a moderate score in all areas can yield a higher total score than one which is high in one area and low in another.

Page 1: Define audience and purpose
Page 2: Teach something "new"
Page 3: Cite information sources
Page 4: Encourage feedback
Page 5: Include reflection pages
Page 6: Balance content & presentation
Page 7: Make it current
Page 8: Keep it simple and accessible

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