The PPA and WebQuests


You have been learning about how to use The Public Policy Analyst.  One of the best ways to integrate the PPA into teaching is by creating and using WebQuests.


Professor Bernie Dodge originated WebQuests in 1995 and they are used in many technology integration projects.  As an experienced teacher, you are familiar with creating lesson plans.  WebQuests are similar to traditional lesson plans, except you create a WebQuest for your students to read online to guide them through the lesson.


A PPA WebQuest is a WebQuest that incorporates the steps from the PPA model.  It is the PPA that differentiates this from a regular WebQuest.  It is the effectiveness of integrating the PPA into teaching that is the basis of our project’s assessment and continuation.



The main sections of a PPA WebQuest:


·         The Introduction orients students and captures their interest.  It gives an overview of the activity.  The introduction (and the entire WebQuest) is written in the second person (“You” or “Your group”), for it is directed to your students.  Some creative WebQuests use a scenario that is first presented in the Introduction (e.g., “Your class are consultants working for the Environmental Protection Agency studying the problem of air pollution in New York City.”)  Be sure to define the context and location of your WebQuest in the Introduction.  The introduction should be motivational and include an overview of what they will experience.


·         The Task describes the general goals or objectives of the WebQuest. It is any product(s) that students are expected to produce such as a PowerPoint, an oral presentation, a storyboard that depicts the development of new policies to deal with air pollution by using the Public Policy analysis.  The task should be clear and concise.


·         The Process explains strategies students should use to complete the task(s) that have been stated in section two.  For example, it would state clearly how the students will develop the PowerPoint or how the class will be divided into various groups with particular roles to implement the steps of the PPA. The exact links for the various six steps of the PPA process are used.  The instructor can also use this place to provide learning advice and interpersonal process advice, such as how to conduct a brainstorming session.  The Resources are the websites students will use to complete the task.  Providing resources for your students will help focus the exercise on processing information instead of just locating it.  These resources are pre-selected (by the instructor) for the learner so attention can be focused on the topic.  Also provide information as to how to organize information that they will gather.  It is good to incorporate the resources within the process section where they will be needed.  Some offline resources (texts, maps, and face to face interactions with knowledgeable people) may be included as well.


·         The Evaluation measures the results of the activity.  Usually, it should contain a rubric that clarifies the teacher’s criteria for evaluating the various tasks or products that the student must produce.  Since the learning we're looking for is at the loftier reaches of Bloom's Taxonomy, an alternate evaluation is needed, such as a rubric. The rubric is an authentic assessment tool which is particularly useful in assessing criteria which are complex and subjective.    It also includes specific state standards from at least two academic disciplines (since TIPS is interdisciplinary).  The standards should be fair, clear, consistent, and specific to the tasks set.


·         The Conclusion sums up the activity for student to reflect on what they have accomplished and encourages students to discuss possible extensions.  The teacher may wish to use the conclusion section to suggest questions for debriefing the entire class.


·         Common Core State Standards which are met by students completing the TASK. 


More information on the parts of WebQuests: