Activities for FYF 101J
9 October 2009
Introduction to Energy Concepts, Webquests, Hubbert Curve


The purposes of today's session are to:


Today's session will have three objectives. The first will be to conclude information given in the Powerpoint presentation dealing with energy that was initiated last Monday.  The second will be to further introduce students to the concepts of Webquests.  The third will be to further expand on the concept of the Hubbert Curve, and to point to various ways that it has been evaluated since it has been introduced.

Concluding the Energy Powerpoint

The instructor will devote approximately 15 minutes to completing the Powerpoint started last week.

Introduction to Webquests


The Webquest concept initiated in 1995 at the San Diego State University.  The purpose was to have students learn information in a constructivist, inquiry-oriented fashion, rather than a didactic manner characteristic of most lectures.  A good Webquest "requires higher level thinking, not simply summarizing. This includes synthesis, analysis, problem-solving, creativity and judgment."  The key feature is that students learn information posted to the Internet, rather than from books, articles, films, or other media.

The homepage for the Webquest initiative is located here.

Webquests have been successfully used in elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and adult education.  They can be the basis of a single class session, or can be the focus of an entire course.


Learning information via a Webquest requires four steps:

1.  The instructor generates a Webquest, often using a template provided by the site.  The Webquest itself contains six sections: Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation, Conclusion, and a Teachers Page.  Typically the "Process" section will include links to websites that students are to review.

2.  Working singly or as a team, students review the information given in the linked pages.

3.  The students then compare information given on the linked pages, and then generate a synthesis that goes beyond merely reviewing content on each page.

4.  The students then submit a report that is reviewed by the instructor following the  rubric given in the "Evaluation." page.

Using Webquests in FRF 101J

As noted in the beginning of the semester, students will be learning about eight sources of alternative energy, plus some background information about the Hubbert Curve.  Those nine topics are being divided into three blocks, each consisting of three topics.  For each block, students will hear an introductory presentation for each topic (in some cases, given by outside speakers). 

Then, students will be divided into six teams of 4-5 students each.  Each team will be assigned one of the three topics.  Thus, two teams will have the same topic. 

Teams will then conduct webquests to develop a 20-minute long presentation in which they summarize the key points about their given energy source.  As part of the presentation, students are to determine: (1) what is the potential of that energy source in meeting local, regional, and world energy needs? (2) what are the technical issues pertaining to the implementation of that source? (3) what are the environmental benefits and drawbacks of that source? (4) what are the economic issues?  (5) what government regulations are pertinent? (6) and what is the level of social acceptance of that source?

The two student teams assigned the same topic will present on the same day.

Hubbert Curve

The instructor will give an overview of the Hubbert Curve webquest.

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This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758,