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
Collaborative
Web Project
Define
Design
Deliver
Upload and test
Project Reflection & Narrative
Evaluate your Project
Publicize your
success
Summary
1. Peer & Community Review
2. Structured Evaluation
3. Resources

1. Peer and Community
Review and Feedback

In addition to the various strategies for assessing project-based learning, the Internet and the Web give you new assessment strategies which will also motivate your students to achieve higher standards of excellence in their work.

These strategies rely on the availability of people out in the "real world" to communicate with your students and to convey approval, suggestions for improvement, constructive criticism, and to share their own insights and experiences related to the project.

It is the "real world" aspects of this discourse that makes it so effective... not as a grading tool for you but as a gauge for your students to measure "how they are doing" in real-world kinds of communications tasks. When their work is reviewed and evaluated by their remote peers and other members of their audience, they will appreciate and understand how standards are established and "enforced." They will understand the importance and context of skills development. And they will be more inclined to edit, revise, and improve their work, which will in turn provide many teachable moments and opportunities to develop the skills they must learn.

Your job is to use this environment to best advantage by having students solicit and structure appropriate feedback and review from your target audience.

Pre-publication Review
We're often asked, "How correct should our Web pages be before we publish them?" The best way to look at this problem is to consider that, like good writing, good Web publishing is a process that should go through several iterations of writing, review, feedback and revision.

As part of this process, therefore, have other students, teachers and parents review your pages before you publish them publicly on the Web. You can do this in several different or complimentary ways:

  • Put your developing Web pages on one of your classroom or lab servers and invite other students, teachers, administrators and parents to drop in to review them.
     
  • Put your developing Web pages on your local school network Web server and invite others to review them.
     
  • Put them on your  district network Web server and invite teachers and students in other schools review them.
     
  • Put them on a live Internet Web server but don't broadcast the actual URL. Instead, treat the work as a "private" Web site, and invite other members of the community to review them for you... parents and other relatives, friends, business people you know. Identify members of your target audience and contact some of them to review your work.

When you ask others to review your work, give them a copy of your project goals and objectives, along with several questions that students would like reviewers to address, so that they can provide specific feedback on whether you've achieved your goals.

Feedback Via Electronic Mail
Since most informal feedback your students receive will come via email, it is important to have a plan for handling this digital dialog.

Ideally, every student, or team of students, would have access to their own email account (depending on your school policy regarding email accounts) to read and respond to correspondence generated by their Web site. Many schools are turning to some of the free email-hosting services for student email accounts, some of which are designed for students.

At the minimum, you should be prepared to pass email communications back and forth through your own email account on a timely basis to promote this informal kind of interaction.

Don't forget to coach your students, especially young ones, to observe appropriate Internet safety precautions.

Structuring Informal feedback
At the simplest level, review and feedback can consist of a request for your Web readers to submit their informal comments, questions, and reactions to the Web authors. Because of the personal nature of many of these kinds of interactions they can be very useful in getting your students to think about, discuss, and review their own work.

Create a "response" or "feedback page which contains some questions about the project you would like answered. For instance:

  • What did you like best about our earthquake project?
  • Please suggest some things we could to do improve what we said or how we said it.
  • Have you ever been in an earthquake? Tell us about your experience.

Include the email address to send feedback to.  Then, put a link to this page at the bottom of every page in your Web project site.

Escalating the Structure
You could have your students be a little more formal in the kind of feedback they wish. For instance, they could include this kind of rubric on the feedback page:

Dear Reader:

We would appreciate it very much if you would take a few moments to complete this evaluation of our Web site. We will take your comments and suggestions seriously in an effort to improve the quality of our presentation. Please feel free to make any suggestions you feel are appropriate to help us.

Just copy the evaluation rubric below into an email message. When you are done reviewing, please send your evaluation to jdoe@somewhere.com.

Thank you.

Sincerely,  Julio, Manuel, Karin, Towana

Evaluation of Earthquake Project by
Julio, Manuel, Karin, Towana

Give us 1-4 points for each of the following categories, using the scoring rubric for each category

___1. We clearly stated the purpose of our Web site and the research question it seeks to answer.
  1. pt: doesn't attempt to state purpose of question
  2. pt: purpose or question stated are incorrect
  3. pt: purpose or question are moderately well stated
  4. pt: purpose and question are appropriately and correctly stated

Overall score:____________

___2. We clearly described the methods we used to investigate and answer the research question.
  1. pt: doesn't define methods
  2. pt: incorrectly describes methods
  3. pt: does a fair job of describing methods
  4. pt: accurately described research methods
___3. We presented our information in a clear and logical format.
  1. pt: information seems to be inappropriate and disorganized
  2. pt: good information but it is not well-structured or presented
  3. pt: information is informative and well structured
  4. pt: Informative information, clearly presented in an interesting and easy-to-navigate format
Total Score:_______

Please leave us some comments about our project:

 

Finding More Distant Reviewers
Once your Web pages are "ready for prime time" you can announce your project, which will bring visitors to read your hard work. With a little luck, your Web project will continue to attract feedback and comments, which will continue to be a rich treasure trove of feedback and great grist for dialog about the topic. You can post announcements about your project on these two lists:

WWWEDU
Pronounced "We Do," this list has become one of the best places on which to lurk to find useful information, and also to post your own questions about the World Wide Web, as well as make specific requests for feedback.

IECC Remote Internet Connection Required (Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connections)

Page 1: Informal Peer & Community Review
Page 2: Structured Evaluation
Page 3: Evaluation Resources

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