Option A is somewhat more complex than Option B. The key to why it fills the communication standards is because it requires no comparisons. It simply asks for a student's informed opinion. If the response to the exercise is done in English (even off a German-language website), this activity could be an excellent bridge to history or literature courses -- a research assignment.
If the exercise is conducted in German, it would be most beneficial if the class began with a group activity that required the students to draw up a group list of questions they still had about their reading of Draußen vor der Tür, or that could be asked about the play. For example: How many people were homeless?; Who was Borchert?; Was the play autobiographical? Ideally, the students (or the teacher) would also identify the passages from the play that bring up these questions.
This exercise's format is open-ended and flexible; it could degenerate into active trivia collection, if the teacher does not use Draußen vor der Tür as a consistent frame and rationale for the correctness or utility of the information uncovered. That is, the exercise as used must focus on biographical or demographic information, but not on both, or the students will not see a pattern of information emerge out of a thicket of individual facts.
Option B uses a discussion format (an e-mail mail box, real-time discussion forum, or local area network). The success or failure of this exercise will rest on the degree to which a text excerpt is used to ground the discussion. As with exercise A, students must be kept to their focus on a particular set of tasks. Because two web texts are provided, exercise B also invites a teacher-specified comparison rather than just the information search of exercise A, which asked students only to present-their open-ended findings to one another (communication standards).
EXERCISE: Communication Standards