Our specialist reviewers praised Global Sun-Temperature for providing a way to actively involve students in learning an abstract concept, and for embedding numerous learning opportunities. They liked the investigative nature of the activity, and the way that students collect their own data, collaborate over distance, and combine data that could not have been collected at any single site. The culminating activity (writing and submitting a report to the web discussion area) requires students to reflect, draw conclusions, summarize and make generalizations--all of which facilitates learning. The web site itself was described as well-organized and well-designed.
The 57 Community Reviewers gave a modal score of 4 (the highest possible) or 3 on all of the selection criteria. The lowest scores were on "Ability to Motivate or Inspire Learners," where the modal score on each of the three rubrics was 3. One of the specialist reviewers also commented with respect to motivation: "...it is not intrinsically interesting, and not set, for example, in a problem-based context which might make students more interested in the topic. What is the real-world motivation to understand latitude/longitude and factors that control climate?"
More than ten of the community reviewers had an opportunity to observe the resource in use with economically disadvantaged students, students with limited experience with technology, or students classified as learning disabled. All of these reviewers recommended the resource for such students, and none advised against.
Our specialist reviewers cautioned that the resource might not provide enough background information to support teachers who didn't already have a solid grasp of the causes of seasons, the factors that influence weather and climate, and techniques of data analysis and interpretation.
Kim Kastens, 10 August 2002