Monday, January 25, 2010

Radio Days: WebQuest

So after researching the many WebQuests for our previous assignment, I found one which I thought did a great job of exemplifying true inquiry. This webquest ( focused on having students learn about the role radio played in the days before television and how the TV shows we watch and enjoy on a nightly basis would have been broadcast only across the radio waves. Because of this, sound effects were added in to help the listener use their imagination to an even greater degree, and commercials were used throughout much as they are today except in purely a listening format. In a way, this presents an even greater challenge to marketers to make their product memorable in the minds of listeners when they cannot see the item.

Not only do I feel that this challenges students' current view points and prior knowledge of about how radio and media works today as compared to the past, but it also has clearly defined roles for each student involved with individual research required as well as group work and analysis to prepare for their own radio broadcast. Each group consists of 3 people (script writer, sound effects editor, and publicity). The webquest gives a basic idea of what each person is going to have to do to complete the task, their own radio broadcast; but the real meat of the project is completely left up to the students. They not only have to create what their person would have done in conjunction with the radio broadcast, but they are required to research what others in these careers have done.

As a drama teacher, we have had our students work on creating commercials in class, but this now seems to be at such a simplified, surface level. This webquest requires a greater deal of "inquiry"on behalf of the students and I believe it truly impacts their worldview and knowledge of media and sales. This is a webquest that I am definitely going to recommend and present to my fellow specialists, and it will be interesting to see the final results and whether or not they make as much of an impact on students as I feel it has the potential to do.


  1. It was interesting, Stephanie, to hear your positive feedback about a WebQuest that has to do with the radio. This is a topic I have not considered to be very pertinent today, and yet after reading your blog entry I realize the unique experience this WebQuest provides on so many different levels. I agree with you that it is essential to have a WebQuest that is student driven, and allows for collaboration, both with the students as well as with fellow teachers. Such a unique topic also provides valuable background information for students that they would not otherwise be able to obtain. This WebQuest would be a valuable tool for students who were thinking of creating podcasts. The fact that the level of inquiry leads to the transfer of knowledge with respect to marketing and sales outside of school is also very important.

    I would be curious to know how many other teachers have used this WebQuest with their students and how the students felt about the experience. Reflection is an important component to learning, and I think I will add that to my WebQuest so that the students have the opportunity to evaluate their experience. Depending on their comments, I may make changes to the WebQuest for the future. I would be curious to hear your students’ feedback after completing this WebQuest.

  2. What I like about this webquest is the possibility of adding in so many different intelligences. Which, in a way I hadn't thought of before, is an aspect of inquiry. If the task allows you to analyze your own strengths and use them to dig deep into the subject, you will be engaged and more motivated to find an answer. This is true of the reflection piece, too, Sherry! This would be a great lesson for the history teacher and music/drama teacher to teach together.

  3. Interesting comments ladies. Sherry, yours about adding in an area for student reflection is one I'm going to add as well. Thank you for the thoughts, and I'll let you know if I can work with any other drama teachers on the topic.