It's Your Call!






A WebQuest 
on software evaluation 
for EDIT 2000
Created by Evan Glazer 

Instructor Notes
Instructor Notes
This activity is used in my EDIT 2000 class at the University of Georgia called Introduction to Computers for Teachers.  The class consists of preservice teachers (elementary, middle, and secondary), as well as students in speech and hearing sciences.
Here is some background information about how and why I use the activity in my class. 
  • Purpose: Students learn how to select and evaluate educational software, and then share their findings with their peers.  There are several other purposes listed in the Conclusion section of this website.
  • Student Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge: In my class, students have created a presentation with PowerPoint prior to this activity.  Although, this activity can be modified so that it does not include PowerPoint.  Prior to the activity, we have not discussed software evaluation.  Students are expected to construct their own meaning about software evaluation in the process of this activity.  In addition, students have not created an evaluation rubric in my class.  However, they are provided with several models from previous class assignments, and also Internet links to information about creating rubrics in the Process section of this website.
  • Time and Resources: Students are given about 3-5 hours of class time in a computer lab to access information on the Internet and examine software.  They are asked to give a presentation two weeks after the assignment is given.  Anything they do not finish in the lab is completed outside of class.  In the first hour, they devise a set of group organizational strategies, and then take a trip to our Curriculum Media Center to learn how they can access software resources in the building.  During the remaining 2-4 hours, the students implement their strategies by identifying software, testing software, creating an evaluation rubric, evaluating software with their  rubric, and creating a PowerPoint presentation.  
  • Collaboration: I give students the option to work in teams up to four people.  They choose their own groups based on their relationship to each other, as well as their career interest.  In the beginning of the activity, I ask them to devise a plan of how they will work together and provide me with a set of group organizational strategies. Students have the option to work individually, primarily in situations when their field is not closely associated with others in the class.  If students work individually, then I expect them to review fewer pieces of software, such as 1 to 2 programs, instead of 3 to 5 programs in groups.
  • Teacher Responsibilities: I serve primarily as a facilitator to the activity and encourage students to determine the direction of their work within the guidelines of the activity.  I try to be aware of their strategies and progress; respond to questions, comments, and concerns; and intervene to resolve difficulty, question understanding, and stimulate ideas and creativity.

View a sample group presentation and rubric for an evaluation of math software for grades K-2.

Here is an example of a health presentation and corresponding rubric that examines related software for grades 9-12.
Click on the images to view their original sources.