This web quest is designed to teach students to evaluate and select useful web sites for inclusion on a mini-site of their own design. It is a web quest, designed according to the model created by Bernie Dodge (1995). This is one of few web quests available on the web in the Portuguese language and, in addition to being useful to native speakers, can be used effectively with students of Portuguese as a foreign language. To make optimal use of this site, users should be familiar with the web quest genre.
Type of Material:
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will improve skills in the areas of information literacy and web design. They will also become acquainted with web quests.
Target Student Population:
Students with intermediate to advanced proficiency in Portuguese
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
In order to create the mini-site task in the web quest, students need to be able to use a WYSIWYG editor. There is an alternate task for students who do not have this skill.
The title of this web page "Navegar e preciso"* is a phrase that students of Luso-Brazilian literature will immediately recognize. Attributed to the Portuguese maritime navigators of old, the phrase is also featured in the poetry of Fernando Pessoa, a renowned poet of the early twentieth century. The graphics on the home page echo the maritime theme with the large, colorful sextant in the center. The visitor expects that the site will have something to do with navigation and exploration, and it does, although what is to be explored is cyberspace, not the site itself. In this quest, students evaluate web sites and complete a group project where they design and assemble their own mini-site on Pernambuco, Brazil.
In a navigation bar at the bottom of the home page, Navegar includes all the categories of a classic web quest: an introduction followed by individual sub-pages outlining the task, the process, the evaluation and the conclusion of the web quest. Rubrics are provided for the evaluation of all tasks that the students must complete. There are corresponding teacher pages in each of the categories which explain every aspect of the web quest to colleagues who might use Navegar in their own classes. Resources used in the development of the web quest are also featured in the teacher pages.
Navegar e preciso requires students to develop a critical sense of what constitutes quality on the Internet. It could be quite useful in reinforcing information literacy, especially in the target language. It also encourages student experimentation with web page construction, once they have become familiar with standard practices for site design.
*Free translation of title: "Navigation is necessary" or, alternatively,
"Navigation is precise".
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This web site is best used for group work, having students team up to develop the mini-site on Pernambuco. Students are provided with rubrics that help them to evaluate and design with very specific criteria in mind. The rubrics themselves could be re-purposed for other activities, making them all the more useful.
The tasks are well delineated and instructions are easy to follow. Clear expectations make for the smooth management of group projects where each participant has both an individual and a group role.
While the group project is to design a mini-site, little help is given to the student on the "how-to" of web design. A few external links on this topic would give the group more direction. Also, while an alternative poster project is an option for the students who do not create web pages, there should also be a rubric specifically designed for the evaluation of the poster project.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site has a clean, clear interface with an adequate amount of information on each page. It makes appropriate use of color. The consistent design of all pages ensures easy navigation. There are ample instructions, with navigation worksheets and rubrics available in separate windows. The use of the Trackstar web site to organize the teacher-provided web sites is a nice touch.
While the site is perfectly easy to navigate, it would be a nice touch to make the home page sextant image clickable and have it link to the Introduction page. The advertisement that pops up initially is a little distracting at first, although it can be easily closed.
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