Implementation Plan
Shannan Muskopf
Spring 2002, Q471

Using the Internet to Enhance Science Instruction

Sample Participants

Michelle Groom

Michelle has been a biology teacher for eight years. She has a computer at home and in her classroom and has some experience with the basic operation of a computer. She can open files, save documents and perform basic internet searches. She has never used the computer lab with her classes and has expressed uncertainty regarding how the internet could be utilized in her curriculum. Michelle represents someone of mid-range technological knowledge.

Diana Parker

Diana has taught earth science for twelve years. Though she has a computer in her class, she does not use it often. She has trouble logging onto the school network and saving documents. She falls into the novice category.

Alan Lobe

Alan is a physics teacher who has taught in the district for eighteen years. He has an interest in technology and would like to find resources for doing virtual physics lab with motion and gravity. He has a computer in his classroom and has no trouble saving documents and searching the web. He has used the computer lab with his class before to run a physics module on force and acceleration. Alan seems enthusiastic about creating lesson plans for his lower level students. Alan could be described as an “expert” due to his previous knowledge and use of the computer lab.

Bob Cohen

Bob is the science department head and has been a teacher in the district for 12 years. He has a basic knowledge of computer operations though admits to not using the technology to its fullest potential. He teaches anatomy and physiology and would like to find resources on body functions and virtual dissections. Bob has mid-range expertise regarding computer use and web searching/browsing.


The instruction will occur after school in the science/math computer lab. The computer lab has thirty-one computers connected to the school network, with internet connection and microsoft office software (word, exel). The computers also have internet explorer, and network filters are in place. The learners will be grouped in the front area of the lab to facilitate discussions and feedback. A multimedia projector will be checked out from the technology office for use during instruction. This device will be used to project information on one computer onto an overhead screen.

Instructional Materials

Learners will receive handouts with guides on how to use the internet, how to use the lab and other basics on computer operations. Handouts will also be given that include tips on how to create internet lessons and webquests. A list of useful internet resources will be included.

Appendix A - Basic Computer Operation & Using the Science/Math Computer Lab
Appendix B - Searching the Internet
Appendix C - How to Create an Internet Lesson

Because many of the examples and activities are online, a companion web site will also contain the information and links to examples used in the instruction. Assessment and attitude surveys will also be stored online. This allows for easy changes when sites change urls or become obsolete.

Assessment Tools and Procedures

Assessment of learning will occur in two parts. Since one of the goals of the instruction is to facilitate a shift in overall attitudes, a survey at the end of the instruction will be given to assess learner attitudes regarding the use of the internet in science instruction (Appendix D) . The second goal of instruction is for the learners to create a lesson plan that uses the world wide web. The assessment of this learning will be performance-based. The learners will create a lesson plan. As a group, the lesson will be analyzed and feedback will be given. A follow-up assessment will occur to determine the effectiveness of the lesson plan (after it has been used with the learner’s class).

Finally an attitude survey (Appendix E ) will be given to assess the learner’s feeling about the instruction.

Media Analysis

The only media used in the instruction are computers with internet access and an multimedia (computer) projector to showcase sites that the learners do not need to browse on their own. (Appendix F)


Sullivan, Danny. Search Engine Math, Oct 26, 2001 <>

Bernie Dodge, San Diego State University, Educational Technology Department October 27, 2001 < >

Smith, P.L., & Ragan, T.J. (1999) Instructional Design. John Wiley & Sons Inc: New York, NY


Appendix A

Basic Computer Operation & Using the Science/Math Computer Lab

Accessing the Computer and Programs

1. Turn the computer and the monitor on.
2. Log onto Novell server using your username and password given to you by Zac
3. Hit “cancel” when prompted to enter password for windows (not needed)
4. Open up the folder entitled “application explorer”.
5. Network programs such as Word and Internet Explorer should be found in this folder.

Saving Documents

1. If using Microsoft word, go to File, then “save as”. When prompted, give the file a name and go to the top of the screen where it says “save in”. Choose the file with your user name - this will save the document on the network for later use.

2. If wanting to save images from the web, right click on the image, click “save as”. When prompted, change or give image a name and “save in” your user name.

3. If wanted to save text from a web site, go to File, then “save as”. When prompted, choose “save in” your user name. Document type should be changed to .txt. Alternately, the copy/paste function can be used to save information from a web site.


1. HIghlight text to be copied and go to “edit”, choose “copy” from the menu.

2. Open Microsoft word to a blank document. Go to “file” and choose “paste” from the menu.

3. Save document.

Appendix B

Searching the Internet

Be Specific

The more specific your search is, the more likely you will find what you want. Don't be afraid to tell a search engine exactly what you are looking for.

For example, if you want information about hurricanes in Florida , search for "Hurricanes in Florida," not "Hurricanes."

Search engines are also very sophisticated, if you have a question, try typing the question directly into the search field, this will often give you immediate and satisfying results. Try typing “why is the sky blue” into a search engine and see what happens!

Using The + Symbol

If you want to make sure that a search engine finds pages that have all the words you enter, not just some of them, use the + symbol

For example, imagine you want to find pages that have references to both Charles Darwin and finches on the same page. You could search this way: +darwin +finches

Only pages that contain both words would appear in your results. Here are some other examples:

Using The - Symbol

Sometimes, you want a search engine to find pages that have one word on them but not another word, use the - symbol. For example, imagine you want information about cougars but don't want to be bothered by pages about a car. You could search this way: cougar -car

That tells the search engine to find pages that mention "cougar" and then to remove any of them that also mention "car."

Using Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used to search for a phrase, the words contained within the quotations must appear in that order on the site for the search engine to return a result. For example, if you want to know specifically about the human genome project, search for “human genome project.”

Now only pages with the words in that order will appear. If using a + sign instead: human + genome + project, any page with those three words (but not necessarily that order of even grouped together will appear).

Combining Symbols

Once you've mastered adding, subtracting and multiplying, you can combine symbols to easily create targeted searches.

For example, if you specifically want to know about St Louis University and the human genome project there, you could try “St Louis University” + “Human Genome Project”

Appendix C

How to Create an Internet Lesson

First, find the site you think would be beneficial for the students to look at. Check the site first, many sites have teacher resources that give lessons and projects that go along with their site, which can make your job very easy. If there's not anything there to work from, its time to get busy creating your own. Its not as hard at it might first seem. The best method for doing this is to have the site open on your browser and a word editor open. Surf the site and write down questions and ideas as you go.

There are actually three types of internet Lessons:

Type 1: This works best for small sites that have step-by-step pages. Students go through the pages, do the reading and answer simple questions about what they are reading. You can use several small sites or one site for this lesson. Give the students a worksheet with the questions, and they answer as they go.


Questions (usually lower order, basically to make sure the students stay on task)
Possible other URLs and More questions

Type 2: Larger sites that have a lot of information, students can't possibly get to all the pages in one class period. In this case the students have more generalized questions about a topic they pick


Students choose from the topics on the site, number of choices depends on how big the topics are and how much class time you want to spend on it.
Students have a list of questions to investigate about their topic, OR, they can just summarize what they learned about each

Type 3: If you have multiple sites for a student to research or a particular theme (ex: whales). Students are then given a project relating to that theme. Webquests generally follow this plan.


* Objective
Project Guidelines

Alternately, you can create a Webquest using an established webquest format. Webquests tend to be project oriented where learners are given a broad task with goals to accomplish.

Webquest Template

The Webquest Page at San Diego State University <>


The purpose of this section is to both prepare and hook the reader. The student is the intended audience.


The task focuses learners on what they are going to do - specifically, the culminating performance or product that drives all of the learning activities.


This section outlines how the learners will accomplish the task. Scaffolding includes clear steps, resources, and tools for organizing information.


This section describes the evaluation criteria needed to meet performance and content standards.


The conclusion brings closure and encourages reflection.

Teacher Page

The teacher page (see template) includes information to help other teachers implement the Webquest, including: target learners, standards, notes for teaching the unit, and, in some cases, examples of student work.

Appendix D

Attitude Survey

Indicate for each statement whether you Strongly Agree - 5, Agree -4, Neutral - 3, Disagree -2, Strongly Disagree -1

1. The world wide web has resources for teachers that are easy to find.

1 2 3 4 5

2. The world wide web has valuable resources for teachers and students.

1 2 3 4 5

3. The school district has made technology resources available to teachers.

1 2 3 4 5

4. The math/science lab is open to science teachers most days of the week.

1 2 3 4 5

5. Students are more knowledgeable about computers than teachers.

1 2 3 4 5

6. Most internet sites are too large to be explored in a single class period.

1 2 3 4 5

7. Science topics on the world wide web can provide interactive lessons for students.

1 2 3 4 5

8. The internet can be used to enhance the current science curriculum.

1 2 3 4 5

9. Students can benefit from internet resources.

1 2 3 4 5

10. Teachers can benefit from internet resources.

1 2 3 4 5

For each of the following areas indicate your comfort level according to the following scale:

1 = very comfortable
2 = moderately comfortable
3 = would need some help to feel comfortable
4 = would need a lot of help to feel comfortable.

1. Computers in general ______
2. Word processing programs ______
3. Internet search engines ______
4. The math/science computer lab _____
5. The school network ______
6. Browsing the internet ______
7. Using internet based lesson plans ______
8. Finding lesson plans on the web _______
9. Troubleshooting computers _____
10. Saving and storing documents ______

Appendix E

Attitude Survey Regarding Instruction

( Adapted from Smith & Ragan, page 346 )

Place a check mark by the phrases below that match your opinion of the “Using the Internet to Enhance Your Science Instruction” unit.

1. How difficult was this lesson?

____ Too Easy _____ About Right _____ Too difficult


2. How was the vocabulary in this lesson?

____ Too Easy _____ About Right _____ Too difficult


3. How was the length of this lesson?

____ Too Easy _____ About Right _____ Too difficult


4. How were the examples of this lesson?

____ Not very useful _____ Somewhat useful ____ Very Useful

5. How did you feel about creating your own internet lesson?

_____ I would never attempt it again. ______ I would try to create lessons of my own.


6. How do you feel about internet lessons and webquests others have made?

____ Not useful for my class or curriculum ______ Somewhat useful for my class
____ Useful, but I would adjust them ______ Many are useful as is


7. How do you feel about using the math/science lab with your class?

______ Frightened ____ Willing to try it ____ Can’t wait to get in there!


8. How do you feel about searching for science resources on the web?

______ Frightened ____ Willing to try it ____ Can’t wait to get in there!


9. How useful was the overall instruction?

______ Not useful ______ Somewhat useful ____ Very useful


10. Would you recommend this instruction to others?

_____ Definitely not ______ Maybe _____ Absolutely


Appendix F

Useful Internet Sites

Searching Tips

Webquests and Internet Lessons

Great Science Sites

Genetic Science Learning Center

Nova Online

The Biology Project

PBS Online

Amazing Space - Web Based Activities

How Stuff Works

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Bagheera - A Website for Endangered Species

Explore Science