Remember that  “library”? Here are 5 possibilities for “GUIDED RESEARCH that you might like to think about to provide support for our students to harness the “knowledge of the crowd”.


ebook library of future -

Now that you are in the library

One of the things you would probably think of first would be to give your students a bibliography, reading list or box of selected books. Somewhere to start, so they didn’t spend hours and hours searching.

A HOTLIST is juts the digital equivalent. A collection of resources and sites placed in headings and subheadings to make the process efficient and safe.

When might you use a hotlist?

As a tuning in activity to wet appetites and help children create their guiding questions

To help students with their individual research or when working in group tasks. This could include the use of “expert groups” or “jigsaws”

Some examples:

Some great links




A multi-media scrap book can be the next  step after students have collected their information using a “hot list” or some other form of data collection.  It is one way to create something new- to synthesise what they have learnt. The MOST important part is that is not a “cut and paste” that students actually synthesise information to create something new. This is a more student centred way.

Students consider the range of data “scraps” they have collected around their topic such as photos, web sites, stories, maps and diagrams, quotes, videos, sound clips and even virtual tours that they have collected. Then they decide which aspect of the topic most interested them. They use this to create their own “ scrap book” .

In much the same way as 2 people going on the same holiday will end up with different photos and so a very individual holiday photo albums, each scrap book will be different.

Students can create their scrap book using a variety of different “paints and brushes” – each masterpiece is unique allowing students to find their passions in a subject. This is a more open ended, student centred approach.


ExploringChina: A Multimedia Scrapbook Activity


These hunts are rather interesting. They are somewhat like a hotlist in that they are a collection of links and websites that are traditionally based around the lower levels of Blooms Taxonomy. However they take the concept one step further in that they are based around a “big question”. This means they link very well with planning structures like “Understanding by Design”

For example’

Who are the great writers of all time?

How do the structure of insects enable them to survive?

What is a number?

When might you use them?

To allow students to collect basic facts and knowledge to use in the learning process that will allow them to participate in higher level tasks (see Blooms)

You could use it as a learning centre task

To help students with their individual research or when working in group tasks. This could include the use of “expert groups” or “jigsaws”

One example.


A subject sampler is just like a sample box of chocolates – just enough to “whet the appetite”. They are a great way to connect students with a topic and to cover a lot of sites in a limited time.Subject Samplers can be used in the classroom in the following way:

  • To tune students into a new topic. To “hook and hold” their interest
  • To allow students to go further into a topic that interests them

Some useful links:

Tom March’s sample list

Golden Swamp Subject Samplers – great resource with lots of samplers

 One example: (I made this one!)

An Introduction

The Beginning

Interview with a team mate.

His first interview on CTV Collingwood


Official AFL bio


Webquests are true problem based learning . They promote higher order thinking into Bloom’s levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, encourage collaborative learning and problem solving and are suitable for students of all ages.

A webquest is a problem solving task where students are introduced to the background behind an issue or problem, given a task to complete and all the links and online resources necessary to undertake the challenge. They can then work individually or inany number of collaborative group structures

”The WebQuest model has been around since 1995 when I developed it for use in a course at San Diego State University. The goal then, and now, was to create lessons that make good use of the web, engage learners in applying higher level thinking to authentic problems, and use everyone’s time well.” – Bernie Dodge

When might you use a Webquest?

A Webquest could be a culminating task to enable students to synthesize the work they have covered in a unit of study or it could run throughout a unit.

Great sites for webquests

Webquests.Org (Bernie Dodge)

Quest Garden ( Bernie Dodge)

 Best (Tom March)

One example