I can measure my things all over the world! (weights and measures)



The students, through a guided search on the internet on sites preselected by the teacher, must carry out a task that starts from the re-elaboration of the information collected to arrive at the creation of a final product. Imagine that you are a member of the States-General and you have to standardize weights and measures. The States-General are attended by Nobility, Clergy and Third Estate (bourgeois, artisans, peasants, doctors, lawyers). The purpose of this activity is to deepen what was treated in class on units of measurement and systems of units of measurement. The activity requires the creation of a PowerPoint presentation on the units of measurement used in physics and natural sciences and their evolution. In addition, another discipline is also involved: history and citizenship, as a reflection on the concept of equality is required and basic knowledge of the french revolution can be considered

The King of France Louis XVI convenes the States-General for 1 May 1789. Supplications, protests and complaints are collected and, among many others, emerges the request to standardize the weights and measures throughout the territory of the kingdom. The search for a common measure obeys a need for equity and equality.

You are a member of the States-General and you must standardize weights and measures



You are required to accomplish four tasks in this WebQuest.

  1. Evaluate the historical evolution of weights and measures in your country and create a short text to describe the consequences for the affairs and trade
  2. Define and explain how the measures are different in some countries, considering the EU, USA and UK. See the United States customary units (U.S. customary units) a system of measurements commonly used in the United States since it was formalized in 1832. See that the system in Britain is officially metric, in line with the rest of Europe. However, imperial measures are still in use, especially for road distances, which are measured in miles. Imperial pints and gallons are 20 per cent larger than US measures.
  3. Create a short text about the States-General and their historic meaning and timing and define why the systems of measurement were so relevant
  4. Create a PPT for describing a realistic scheme of the evolution of the systems of measurements to be presented to the King during the States General
  5. Reflect on the evolution of a common system along the process of the creation of the European Union



Phase 1: Presentation of the activity to be carried out; division of the class into five groups. The division of groups occurs randomly. Each group represents Nobility, Clergy and Third Estate and will have to convince the other members of the States-General about the adoption of a particular unit of measurement rather than another.


Phase 2: The teacher communicates to each group which activity they will have to carry out and the related delivery. The groups collect material on: "meter", "kilogram", "second", "mole", "units of measurement different from those of the International System both current and past". Each group will also have to reflect on the concept of equality.


Phase 3: Presentation of the resources made available. Once the materials have been viewed, each group must create a folder on their PC desktop and insert the selected materials inside.


Phase 4: Within each group, the following roles must be identified: coordinator, sceptic, controller and speaker.

The coordinator's responsibilities are i) organizing group meetings; ii) chairing and facilitating discussion in the group; iii) keeping the group's attention focused on solving the task; iv) encouraging the group to tackle the problem according to a succession of stages; v) encourage the participation of all group members in carrying out the task.

The responsibilities of the sceptic are: i) to ask questions about why one follows a particular direction in attempting to accomplish the task; ii) try to think and propose alternative and improvement solutions; iii) focus or identify any assumptions made in the drafting of the task, demonstrating the correctness or falsity of the assumption considered.

The responsibilities of the controller are: i) to check whether all data and information from the sources have been considered; ii) to keep track of the group discussion (take minutes in group meetings); iii) to encourage the other members of the group to verify the information processed.

The responsibilities of the speaker are to exhibit the work in public during the simulation of the States-General.

You decide the roles. Everyone must actively participate in the drafting of the work and follow all the phases: reading the sources, re-elaboration, elaboration of the PowerPoint. But each of the students will have to follow one in a particular way (be responsible for the phase). All roles must be chosen according to the student’s skills and abilities and it is important to consider and present to the students that everyone's work is important for everyone's evaluation and the success of the activity.


Phase 5: The teacher will give some suggestions to improve your work. The evaluation of the proposed work is based on:

  • Ability to use the indicated resources and to deepen them;
  • Clarity of presentation by students;
  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Quality of the work prepared.


For greater clarity of the evaluation, you will find the evaluation grid that will be used. Look at it before starting work!


Phase 6: Once the work is finished, the speaker (or speakers) of each group will present their work in a realistic simulation of the States-General: time for presentation 10 minutes. At the end of the presentation, all students will also have to deliver a written report of the group's activities from an organizational point of view (if the classmates actively participated in the phases, if there were particular difficulties).

Evaluation of learning achievements

The teacher will evaluate the final product (task 4) considering the following criteria

Criteria for Evaluating Presentations
One of the best ways to help students create and deliver good presentations involves providing them with information about how their presentations will be evaluated. Some of the criteria that you can use to assess presentations include:

  • The focus of the presentation
  • The thoroughness of the ideas presented and the analysis
  • Clarity of the presentation
  • Effective use of facts and details
  • Lack of grammatical and spelling errors
  • Design of the slides
  • Effective use of images
  • Clarity of voice projection and appropriate volume
  • Completion of the presentation within the allotted time frame

In this section we will not dive very deep into the underlying educational theories about evaluation and testing: there’s too much out there than we could possibly cover in this small project report.

Instead, we want to concentrate on procedures that enable both students/pupils and their teachers to establish if the learning goals of the Webquest were achieved and, if so, to what extent. We recommend teachers make use of a combined evaluation procedure, that consists of:

  1. Statements by learners (after being asked to do so)
    • telling what they learned about the subject (knowledge-oriented self-evaluation): now (after going through the Webquest) I know that …
    • telling what he/she learned about herself/himself (formative evaluation, in this case, diagnostic self-evaluation): now (after going through the Webquest) I know about myself that I …
      This pair of basic statements add up to a so-called learner report, in which the pupil/student reflects on what the Webquest brought him/her in terms of acquired knowledge and new personal views and attitudes concerning the subject.

    For instance:

    • ‘I learned that in medieval times the hygiene of people was hardly a concern which helped to let epidemic diseases like the Plague cause so many casualties’ Or:
    • ‘I learned the facts and I know the earth is warming, but I cannot understand why people were so stupid to pollute the world and let it warm up so much.
    • ‘I learned from the information about diseases that this subject is more appealing to me than I would expect in advance: maybe I should consider a medical career’. Or:
      ‘The Webquests confirms what I thought already: I could not care less about the climate and global warming. In fact, I thought it was all a hoax and I still do!’

    This kind of assessment seems more subjective than it actually is: in his standard work on testing and evaluation (and much more), simply called Methodology (1974), Prof. A.D. de Groot described how consistent the student’s self-evaluations appeared to be: when asked again after 5 or 10 years, their evaluation would almost be the same. De Groot advised teachers to use the learner report as a start for joint evaluations, striving for consensus between teacher and student/pupil about the learning outcomes and their value for the learner, but also compared with the learning objectives as stated in the curriculum.

  2. The learning achievements are visible in the output produced by the students: it is physical evidence: reports, answers to questions asked in the Webquest, presentations, and performance during presentations (preferably recorded). The teacher completes an evaluation grid stating clearly what the learning outcomes for the student/pupil are. The categories in the grid can be modified by the teacher to cover more precisely the content of a Webquest.

    >We advise teachers to use the grid to start a joint evaluation discussion, aiming at consensus or at least understanding between the teacher and the student/pupil about the learning outcomes: were they achieved (as planned in the curriculum and communicated before the Webquest started) and to what extent? To communicate the learning goals clearly before any learning activity starts, is a transparency requirement that is widely acknowledged in the educational community. The history of making learning objectives explicit goes back to the evaluation ‘Bible’ by Bloom, Hastings and Madaus: ‘Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of student learning’ (1971), a standard work that also served as inspiration for the earlier mentioned Prof. De Groot.


The procedure also applies when students/pupils have worked together on a Webquest. The teacher will ask questions about individual contributions: ‘What did you find? What part did you write? How did you find the illustrations? Who made  the final presentation?’

All the evidence (of learning efforts and outcomes plus joint evaluations) is preferably stored in the learning portfolio of the student, or in any other suitable storage system (folders with written or printed documents, online collection of files, etcetera ).

Changes in personal points of view and feelings are harder to value and here the consensus between teacher and student/pupil about experiences during the learning process provides essential insights.

The grid below gives an example of how the evaluation of the learning process and achievements can be shaped: what kind of reactions to the Webquest does the teacher expect and how valuable are they? Is the teacher capable to explain the value or score allocated to answers or presentations given by pupils? Does the pupil/student understand the evaluation outcomes, and does he/she agree? If an agreement (consensus is not possible, it is still the teacher who decides how to value the student’s work.

Please note that the text in the grid addresses the pupil/student directly: this is important and it is in fact a prerequisite for using such an evaluation grid: it is specifically meant to enable a discussion of learning results between teacher and student and not to communicate learning achievements of learners to others who had no direct role in the Webquest.

Evaluation Grid


Having completed the activity, the students would have learnt the meaning of the measurement and considered how they are very important in two basic fields: scientific experiments and trade & commerce activities.

They will operate in the future with better awareness of the consequences of the long way to have a common system also in EU.

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The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
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Funded by
sCOOL-IT erasmus logo EN

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
f: +357 2465 00 90

Funded by
sCOOL-IT erasmus logo EN

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
f: +357 2465 00 90

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