Sunday, February 15, 2009


Very similar to an annotated bibliography, I ask my students to create a short Webliography, on a specific term. There are many ways to do this and one that I would like to explore, but have not tried yet, is for students to research a bigger topic like Black History Month. I would like them to create the Webliography as a team on a wiki. Each semester the class would explore a different topic with access to previous semesters Webliographies for research reference for other assignments. As Learning Management systems offer diverse ways to create and grade wikis and other tools, I believe this format could become a preferred way of student collaboration, and overtake discussions role for building a sense of community.

Since I want to limit access to my students work and keep their work in the course, for now I use this webliography assignment. Learning how to research topics is not only an important skill for history courses but also for future history and college courses students take. Students practice acquiring information, breaking sources of information into parts, using library sources, demonstrating understanding of primary and secondary sources, and using technology. Also since there is a wealth of sources on the internet, some good and some bad, this assignment asks students to go a step further beyond just finding sources to explaining why they chose certain sources to include in their webliography.

Assignment Tasks:
1. Select a term from a list provided by the instructor.
2. Search the internet for web resources on this term.
3. Select the 5 best web sources.
4. Create a bibliography that lists the web sources.
5. Describe each source in a brief paragraph and why choose it as a reliable, informative source on the topic. Does the source include primary and secondary sources?
6. In addition to turning it in to the instructor, students can also post their assignment in an optional Study Hall discussion in the unit so that classmates can see the list of sources and possibly use them in upcoming assignments.

While writing a grammatically correct bibliography is an important skill for college students, I believe it is even more important for them to analyze those sources and be able to explain why they chose to use them.

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