I think that drafting and design is an excellent candidate for webquests. A good, straightforward example is the Basic Residential Plan. This webquest outlines a fairly involved group project that requires prerequisite theory, or at least theory introduced as the project progresses. The resources in the webquest do not delve too deep that students would be overwhelmed. It provides a good backdrop for learning residential architecture.

Within this overall framework of architectural drafting (no pun intended), I would like to develop another webquest to help students learn about, and incorporate, universal design. Universal design aims to accommodate all persons in the design of products and spaces. These are some of the resources I would likely include:

Other resources I could provide are photos of public buildings or health care facilities nearby that already incorporate universal design. I expect this webquest to take at least a week for the students to perform.

Now the best part.

I would ask the students to think of someone they care about that has more difficulty performing the tasks that the majority of people do easily. Students would be asked to list the different products that that person uses for assistance. Then I would challenge them to think of one thing they could design or modify that would help their loved one perform a task more easily. Encouraging the students to internalize this concept will help achieve higher learning levels.

I realize that not every student will have the same level of compassion toward every person, so I would have to be careful to assess participation, effort and learning. When dealing with social issues, there is a temptation to pass judgement upon students who do not share my enthusiasm for universal design.


One thought on “Webquests

  1. How appropriate that I was assigned to comment on your blog this week. Your planned web quest content is very closely linked to something nurses have to think about all the time: how can you help a client manage better in their own home. But the truth of the matter is that even “normally” abled individuals sometimes need universal design. I for example am 5’3″ reaching things is a problem for me. I also lack flexibility so bending over can be a problem. As a cyclist, I have a triathlete friend who is missing half an arm and I find the way they adapted her bike for her to be fascinating. Now I know nothing about the process of going about creating adapted designed so your web quest would push me one step closer to that.


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