The past two weeks my evening students were working on a WebQuest about famous Americans. It was pretty cumbersome because they have very limited computer skills, but it really ended up well.
I had them begin by choosing a person to read and write about. They were supposedly able to spend an afternoon with the person and could ask them questions. These are largely low intermediate students, so we spent time on writing questions before they set out to do their “interview” with the person. I had links to two sites with information on each of the people.
I changed the process of the WebQuest, only having them write the paragraphs in 3rd person as it took so long for them to find the information they wanted. I am totally fine with the single writing assignment. Most of them write it by hand and then typed it up and then revised it — at least getting rid of red and green lines. Those who were there every day and worked faster were able to really edit their work, but others had to settle for less than perfection.
Following the writing, they practiced reading what they had written and eventually recorded it. This was the most difficult part because none of them had ever tried to record their voices on a computer. Is took a couple tries for most of them to be happy with their final product, but in they end they were really proud of what they had done.
There are many things I would change about this project before I tried to do it again, but overall I am quite happy with it. The students worked hard to read and understand, to write and then fix their writing, to read as fluently as possible. They were engaged the whole time.
So even though I went home after class last night exhausted, I was really happy. That doesn’t happen every day!