An Internet WebQuest on Genes
modified from the original authored by Marc Sarton and Carrie Pogany, students at Richmond University, Fall of 1999.
Introduction | The Task | The Process & Resources |Evaluation | Rubric | Conclusion | Student Dictionary
Have you ever wondered how they make those oversized pumpkins so large? Is it possible to completely free yourself from inheriting a fatal heart disease? Could you make an identical copy of yourself? How do police officers track down criminals using blood samples? All of these questions can be answered with knowledge of genetics. Genetics is a topic that has stirred up much controversy and debate in the past decade. The validity, rationale, and utilization of genetics research are constantly under review. Now is your chance to evaluate these topics and implement your knowledge.
Genetics is a topic that applies to numerous phases of life.
The following four issues are currently under debate:
- The use of forensics in criminal cases
- The recent success of cloning
- Genetically engineered food
- Genetically testing for diseases
With respect to the four given aspects of genetics, how should funding for each of the research topics be allotted?
In this WebQuest you will work with a team of three other students to form a consensus on how funding for genetics research should be distributed. Each member of your team will choose one of the given aspects of genetics to research. Upon finishing your research, you will discuss your findings and decide the team's stance on funding allocation. Your team will then create a persuasive presentation, arguing your consensus.
To make sure everyone in your group fully understands the basic background information on genetics, visit the first link. The other two links are resources to help you form a consensus and persuasive argument, visit the following links. Read through each site. Make sure you fully understand each link before moving on to the next one. If neccessary, feel free to use your textbook or any sources on the Internet to foster your understanding.
- Interactive Genetics Tutorial - At this WebPage, you will learn basic knowledge of Genetics. After you read each section thoroughly, complete the short quiz that accompanies it. Complete all six levels.
- Building Consensus - During this project, your group may not always agree. Read the following site to learn how to build a consensus and compromise.
- Persuasive Arguments - After your research is finished and your group has made a consensus, you will need to successfully argue your stance. Read the following site to learn how to create a persuasive argument.
1. Each member of your team will choose to research a different aspect below.
2. Read through the files linked to your aspect. Be sure to explore the Internet for at least one other source of information. Use the questions provided under each role to help guide your research and contribute information to your team's consensus.
3. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying/pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.
4. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.
5. Be prepared to focus what you've learned into one main opinion that answers the question pertaining to genetics research funding allocation.
A forensics expert:1. What are some advantages and disadvantages of using genetic forensic evidence in criminal court cases?
2. Is using DNA in forensics a well researched form of identification? If not what future research is required?
A parent considering genetic testing for their unborn child:1. Is genetic testing of prenatal babies harmful to the health of the babies and/or the mothers?
2. How do genes determine inheritance?
3. How reliable is genetic testing in predicting diseases?
A scientist specializing in cloning:1. Is cloning humans realistically possible in the next ten years? If so, should research be continued?
2. Is it ethical to clone humans?
3. Since cloning is such a new phenomenon, what are the possible ramifications of research in this area?
A farmer interested in genetically engineering crops:1. How are genetically altered crops beneficial to society?
2. Are there any harmful effects of genetically altered crops?
You have all learned about a different part of genetics. Now in your group, discuss each of your aspects. Weigh the pros and cons of each part. Work together to build a consensus answering the question, how should funding for genetics research be allocated. Due to the fact that each of you researched a different area of genetics, your viewpoints may be dissimilar. Since your group might not agree on everything, use the skills you learned from the consensus building link under background information. Use the knowledge you acquired from your research to convince your teammates that your viewpoint is important and should be part of your team's answer. Your team should write out an answer that everyone on the team can live with.
Now that your team has compiled your research into a consensus, you can develop a persuasive arguement. Utilize the skills you learned from the persuasive arguement link under the background section. Use PowerPoint to create an oral and visual presentaion arguing your consensus. Your presentation should be focused towards the following audience: A group of legislators who will vote on genetics research financing.
The purpose of this WebQuest is for you to gain a concrete knowledge of the following aspects of genetics: genetic testing, genetically engineered food, forensics and DNA, and cloning. The main goal of the research is to answer the following question: "How should the funding for each of the genetic topics be allotted?" You should also come away from this lesson with efficient group work skills, an understanding of PowerPoint, consensus building techniques, and the ability to create a persuasive argument.
The main product of all of your research and teamwork is the PowerPoint presentation. The presentation will be judged based primarily on the content of the presentation, and not solely on the quality of the PowerPoint presentation (since the details of PowerPoint were not focused on in this lesson). All four aspects of genetics should be addressed along with the amount of funding each should receive, based on your group's agreement. Your presentation should have solid, specific supporting research for why your group arrived at your decision, including advantages, disadvantages, and explicit examples. See the rubric provided.
|160 POSSIBLE||5 point Beginning||10 points Developing||15 points Accomplished||20 points Excellent||Score Received|
|Researching and Gathering Information||Does not show thorough research has taken place on the topic.||Shows very little thorough research has taken place on the topic.||Shows a good amount of thorough research has taken place on the topic.||Shows a tremendous amount of thorough research has taken place on the topic.|
|Fulfills Duties||Does not perform duties assigned to team role.||Minimal performance of duties assigned to team role.||Satisfactory performance of duties assigned to team role||Performs all duties assigned to team role|
|Participates in Collaboration with Group||Does not give information relevant to the topic and does not share ideas with the team.||Gives little information relevant to the topic and shares few ideas with the team.||Gives adequate information relevant to the topic and shares a good amount of ideas with the team.||Gives superfluous information relevant to the topic and shares a tremendous amount of ideas with the team.|
|Values Other Group Member's Viewpoints||Does not value team members viewpoints, listen, cooperate, or consider all views.||Shows little value of team members viewpoints. Listens and cooperates at a minimum level. Considers few views.||Shows earnest value of team members viewpoints. Listens and cooperates at a satisfactory level. Considers most views.||Shows extremely high value of team members viewpoints. Listens and cooperates at an optimum level. Considers all views.|
|Depth in Coverage of Topic||Covers minimal knowledge of the topic.||Covers very little knowledge of the topic.||Covers a variety of knowledge of the topic.||Covers a wide variety of knowledge of the topic.|
|Well Planned & Easily Understandable Presentation||Presentation shows lack of planning and is difficult to understand.||Presentation shows minimal planning and is only somewhat understandable.||Presentation shows adequate planning and is understandable.||Presentation shows detailed planning and is very clear.|
|Explanations & Reasons Given for Conclusions||No explanations or reasons are given for conclusions.||Few explanations or reasons are given for conclusions.||Satisfactory explanations or reasons are given for conclusions.||Multiple explanations or reasons are given for conclusions.|
|Clear & Useful PowerPoint Presentation||Presentation is not useful.||Presentation is somewhat useful.||Presentation is useful.||Presentation is highly useful.|
Upon completing this WebQuest, you should have increased your knowledge of genetics. You have also formulated an opinion on the various aspects of genetics. How is your new opinion different from before you started this Webquest?
Science is a dynamic subject with many real world implications. In the classroom, many science topics can seem too technical and irrelevant. This WebQuest serves to teach that science, specifically genetics, is a very real part of everyday life and technology. You must be aware of the issues in science, especially those that are controversial. You must also be able to form your own opinions based on informed research and personal interest.
Credit given to:
An Internet WebQuest on Genesmodified from the original authored by Marc Sarton and Carrie Pogany, students at Richmond University, Fall of 1999.