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NPS Technology - TechQuest

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If learners have factual knowledge about a subject, then ask yourself, "Do they come out of the unit affectively engaged?" If they don't seem to care about the subject as you think they should, try creating a Subject Sampler.

Subject Samplers connect students emotionally to the chosen topic. Learners are presented with a small number of intriguing web sites on a specific topic. Samplers are fun because you've chosen web sites that offer something interesting to do, read, or see. It's emotional because students are asked to respond to questions from a personal perspective. Rather than uncover hard facts (as they do in a Treasure Hunt), students are asked about their perspectives on topics, comparisons to their experiences, and their interpretations of artworks or data, etc. Thus, more important than the right answer is that students see that their views are valued. Use a Subject Sampler when you want students to feel connected to the topic and to feel that the subject matters. (

Clues About Questioning

Because the goal for a Subject Sampler is to reach people where they feel, questions could follow a general pattern of:

  1. Finding Personal Connections
    • Self Examination: What animal represents the year you were born?
    • Visuals: Browse through the "thumbnail" collection of antiquities, crafts, and paintings and find one you like the best.
    • Challenging Texts: Skim through the numbered passages until you find one that makes sense to you.
  2. Focusing on Details
    • Self Examination: What aspects of your zodiac seem true in describing you?
    • Visuals: Examine a larger version of the image you like the best.
    • Challenging Texts: Copy the passage/poem down.
  3. Exploring and Explaining
    • Self Examination: Who is a famous person born in the year of the same animal? Are you anything like him or her?
    • Visuals: Describe in a detailed paragraph or essay what appeals to you about this artwork.
    • Challenging Texts: Put the passage's meaning into your own words line-by-line.

Explore the Subject Sampler resources and examples below. You will notice that different authors have different ideas about Subject Samplers. Look for commonalities. Take note of the key elements that make it a quality Subject Sampler and create your own masterpiece!

TechQuest 2007


Participants / Projects

Independent Study -

Policies and Procedures