CEP 810 & 811 Integrated Major Assignment: Web-Based Inquiry Project

Students in CEP 820 will create a web-based inquiry project that they will be able to use in their classroom or professional practice.

MAET Curriculum Expectations
This one assignment addresses curriculum expectations for two of the courses that comprise the first-year MAET Overseas Program.

This project will:
  1. Enable teachers to immediately apply what they’ve learned and created to their classroom/professional practice (CEP 810)
  2. Require students to create a stand-alone instructional resource with a problem-solving focus (CEP 811)
  3. Require students to create an educational webpage (CEP 810)
  4. Require students create a web-based Internet search activity that supports the development of new literacies skills (CEP 811)
  5. Require student to create a lesson plan using the Internet as an integral tool (CEP 810)
  6. Require students to analyze a technology innovation in education (CEP 810)

This is a graded assignment. The evaluation rubric is outlined at the bottom of this document.

Assignment Overview

Inquiry-based instruction should support the active construction of knowledge. It begins with questions that are authentic and meaningful to students and it challenges students to explore answers to those questions. Inquiry-based instruction has been described as “minimally guided” (Kirschner, Sweller & Clark, 2006) but good instruction always scaffolds students’ learning experiences. Although your project may include some aspect of direct instruction, it should also include independent inquiry/research that is supported, by you, by technology, by peers, or all of the above. You will design this project so that students receive the support they need as they investigate answers to their question. As Kintsch (2006) has noted, “Learners are not simply receiving information or acquiring knowledge by osmosis, but must be actively involved in knowledge building. The role of instruction is to constrain and guide their activities.” (p. 223).

Moreover, you will ground your pedagogical design in your understanding of Bransford, Brown & Cocking’s (2000) framework for learning. You will justify the design of your inquiry-based lessons and project by showing how you have designed activities that engage students’ background knowledge, develop students’ knowledge of the topic, facilitate organization of information in meaningful ways and support metacognition.

Here’s what you’ll do:

1) Identify a curricular topic/issue that (a) you already teach or will be teaching in the next school year and (b) that is well suited to inquiry-based instruction. Your students should have some opportunity to choose a meaningful/authentic question to explore. The project should align with the curriculum expectations that you are expected to address in your own work (e.g., Common Core, AP,_IB,ISTE etc.)
2) Plan a lesson or a series of no more than three lessons during which students will engage in inquiry-based reading and research on the Internet to address their topics.
3) Using a free website building tool (e.g., Weebly, Google Sites) create an instructional environment/resource for your students. This website will...
a) introduce the topic and the inquiry-based assignment to your students
b) provide a starting place for Internet search as part of the inquiry process
c) include instructional supports for the new literacies skills of questioning, locating, evaluating and synthesizing information. (custom search/ sweet search as scaffolding tool & screencast think aloud of your reading/search process)
d) include a collaborative component -- students will need to work together to build knowledge in some way as part of your project
e) include a formative assessment (i.e., an assessment that provides proximal feedback; may be ungraded but it must be a chance for the student to learn from feedback)
f) explanations of (a) what students need to have completed by the end of this inquiry-based project, (b) what “success” will look like and (c ) how students should evaluate their own learning.
g) an evaluation framework that is appropriate for the project AND that you can justify as supportive of student learning (using research).

There will be two major deadlines for this assignment.


Deadline 1: The Plan

Date: July 11

By this date you need to have completed the following aspects of the project:
  • Create website
  • Have a clear topic focus with a short introductory blurb on the website about the project (draft prose is fine...but this will give your instructors a sense of your intended focus/purpose/objectives)
  • An outline of the activities that your students will do -- put this on a page in your website (bullet points are fine)
  • The beginning of a justification page on which you critically examine the design of your activity with reference to Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000).
  • A think aloud screencast in which you demonstrate effective Internet search processes for your students on the topic (use Coiro, 2011 paper as your guide) * This should be polished*

Deadline 2: The Final Product

Date: July 25

Essential aspects of the project are outlined above. At a minimum, your completed website will include the following pages:
  • An introductory home page that explains, to students, the focus, purpose and expectations for this inquiry-based assignment
  • A page (or more, depending on your design) that highlights and supports the development of essential new literacies skills that students will use during their Internet reading activities. A think-aloud screencast will be part of the scaffolding that you provide.
  • A page where evaluations are explained and provided for students (including self-evaluation)
  • A page on which you justify the design of your inquiry-based project and the technological choices you’ve made. Your justifications should make direct connections to Chapter 1 from Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000). __http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309070368__
  • A page where you identify specific curricular expectations that your project addresses.

Note: Hyperlinks, embedded media, technological tools and resources should be included as necessary, based on your design.


The degree to which you have met the assignment expectations will be evaluated using a four point point scale where 0 = no, 1 = somewhat, 2 = yes, 3 = yes +

  • you met proximal deadline for project plan and included all expected elements
  • you revised your project based on instructor feedback on your plan
  • your final product is polished, complete and easy to navigate
  • the final design of your project demonstrates deep understanding of inquiry learning and ways that instruction can support students as they construct knowledge
  • it is clear that you thought critically about the affordances and constraints of the technologies you’ve integrated into this project as supports for student learning
  • the justification you provide for your project and its design is aligned with Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000)
  • throughout this project, you demonstrated sincere intellectual investment, risk-taking and a genuine interest in growth