In what has been one of the most exciting curricular developments of late at St. Gregory, our ninth graders are tackling each winter an elaborate multi-disciplinary project on the topic of bioethics. The assignment comes jointly from the ninth grade biology and English teachers, and requires students in teams to research an assigned topic in bioethics, address driving questions, take it through multiple steps of revision and reflection, and then publish their completed work in a presentation which they deliver to other students, after which they actually provide a test-for-understanding quiz to those students about their presentation.

Below these four presentation Prezis and video (two prezis after the jump (more), which I am so happy to be sharing, is more detailed information about the assignment, including a rubric and the project “pitch” requirements. (You may need to click on “more.”) I thank the St. Gregory students whose fine work this is for giving me permission to share.

Here is a link to the test for understanding quiz which was prepared to accompany this presentation, designed by the students as part of their project. (it is amusing to me to read question 4, multiple choice option b).

The assignment:
Eurolle Consultants
Bioethics 101 Forum

Your team has conducted its preliminary background research, and now it is time to pool your expertise and resources to plan and produce your 15-20 minute webinar for your assigned grade level. Each webinar must include the following:
Content: You are educating your age group on this topic–including science, relevant
history, ethical pros, and ethical cons.

Written information
Visual Aid–You must have at least one original visual aid that you as a group create. Powerpoint and youtube are the most compatible with googlesites, but you may also explore other technology. You may use files that already exist, but you must also create one of your own.
Audio: You may decide to podcast audio as a supplement to the written text.
Assessment: You must have some sort of assessment of the content of the project. Did the student learn the information by studying this webinar? How do you know?

The St. Gregory students will be evaluating the websites as test subjects to see if the project is strong enough to distribute to the various school districts in Arizona. Students will also have a chance to assess the webinar itself as a tool for learning, but you don’t have to worry about that assessment just yet. Worry instead on creating a good “product”

Your team has been assigned a link on EUROLLE GOOGLESITES. This site will serve as your planning as well as your production site.

Project Proposal–content only, due March 4:

Join forces to determine the necessary content for your paper. What does your audience need to know? After creating your page and posting your body paragraphs with citations and works c cited, read all of your team members’ body paragraphs to determine the most significant content and the order in which it should be presented. Bold that which needs to be emphasized the most.

March 11: End of 3rd Quarter

Project Proposal–complete, due March 14:
1. Create a storyboard with EQUAL designated roles for each group member. This can be a digital or a print storyboard. Designate what you plan to do for each of the different components (written, visual, audio, assessment) of the project. Be sure to include the following:
who will be responsible for each part
what teaching goal(s) you want to accomplish with each part
whether and how you can actually produce and publish this work in reality rather than just a cool concept, etc.

2. Create a more engaging and persuasive 5-minute pitch than your first one! That means planning out who is saying what parts and practicing your content and persuasiveness ahead of time!
March 14 late start 8-9
March 14 lunch
March 15 lunch

3. Complete your first peer and self assessment (in English on 3/16-3/17).

Wednesday, March 23: All content must be uploaded on your site. That means it should be approximately ⅔ of the way done, and ALL of your technological components must be WORKING. Peer editing session #1

Monday, March 28: Final due date for online project
Webinar online classes will be “field tested” in late March, based on other curricular requirements for those individual teachers and classes.

Rubric concepts
written content: accuracy, thorough explanation, logical organization, appropriateness for audience, proper documentation
visual (audio optional) presentation of difficult concepts: accuracy, lay-out, functionality, thorough explanation, appropriateness for audience
Overall “page”: Aesthetics, lay-out, functionality, effectiveness, appropriate use of and “working” technology
Audience (student) assessment:
Peer and teacher assessment of collaborative work environment: specific roles for each person; each person follows through, etc.

25% individual paper (done)
50%video/presentation teaching effectiveness (including 10% self and peer evaluation)
25% benchmarks
Overall Project grade is worth approximately 1/3 of quarter 3 and semester 2 grades in both English and biology.

Project Pitch Advice and Instruction

Sign up for your 2nd project pitch Mr. Rolle.
Plan your 5-minute explanation of how you plan to teach this information to this particular group of people.
Each member of the team needs to speak this time, and you need to know what you will say and when. Practice ahead of time!

Project Requirements
Audience: What do you know about your audience? What can you expect your audience to know? How do you think they best learn?
For your project pitch, you have two audiences (how wicked!): the student population you are assigned to teach as well as teachers/administrators who must approve your initial idea before the module can be presented in their school classrooms.

Content: Is there new content you need to add?

Organization: The storyboard should have a logical flow to it. In what order does the information need to be presented? Why?

Written information: What should be presented AS TEXT, and why do you feel this information needs to be presented in narrative form?

Visual Aid–What content needs to be reinforced through visual aids, and why? What media format should be included to best teach/emphasize that content? Be creative, but also be practical in what you can accomplish.

Remember, you must have at least one original visual aid that you as a group create. Powerpoint and youtube are the most compatible with googlesites, but you may also explore other technology.

You may use videos, images, and graphs that already exist, but you must document them properly, so keep the link attached to the files when you download and upload them.

Audio: You may decide to podcast audio as a supplement to the written text.

Assessment: You must have some sort of assessment of the content of the project. Did the student learn the information by studying this webinar? How do you know? What format will your assessment take? Be as creative as possible while making sure that you can

Storyboard Description and Samples

Your storyboard is your visual representation of the “flow” of your project, from introduction to conclusion. You have already done one storyboard this year with Ms. Bodden for your English story video, so you should have some sense of how to get started, but here are some weblinks. They are mainly for stories, but you can easily imagine how your lesson needs to be a story in itself. You are trying to show not only what components you will include but also how they will work together to create a great lesson.

While most published storyboards are created by visual artists, these tools are very useful for non-artists as well to help yourself and your audience get a sense of where you are going, in what order, and how the pieces fit together. In a sense, it is your working outline of your webinar.


The following links provide some sample ideas of things you might want to include in your project. You will need to determine if you have and can use the technology required to reproduce this type of media, and if you don’t, how you might adapt it for your purposes. Since we found them and published them for you, you must have permission from use to use these in your own presentations. We have provided them here in order to help you open your creative neural pathways to create your original visual aid.

Khan Academy, lecture on Stem Cells
Youtube has some great (and not so great) videos on topics in genetic engineering.
The University of Utah has a really cool interactive “cloning lesson” and some cool animations.