Webquests


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WebQuests are deliberately designed to make the most use of learner’s time. As a discovery-learning tool, WebQuests are an excellent collaborative resource to engage students in the use of ICTs and problem-solving skills. In particular, the WebQuest is a well-structured and scaffolded activity that promotes higher order thinking skills.

1. Use a pre-existing WebQuest or design one yourself specifically to use in conjunction with the lesson plan or unit of work.
2. Students need to have access to computers.
3. Divide students into groups (3-4 students per group).
4. Outline the task/problem and purpose of the WebQuest (all of the information is already on the WebQuest).
5. Show students where the WebQuest can be accessed – usually on the School’s intranet.
6. Students will take individual roles to solve tasks (e.g. to solve a literature question there might be a journalist, reporter, editor)
7. Students will engage in group processes in order to work together as a team to solve the problem.
8. There should be dead-lines for task completion particularly if the task runs over a couple of weeks.
9. Web resources must be included in the WebQuest along with any other relevant information.
10. Students work independently and interdependently.

Applications

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There are two types of learning quests:
1. WebQuests: Students are presented with an authentic situation and a task, which is usually a problem to solve or a project to complete. WebQuests provide students with a structural learning framework, which provides scaffolding and support, yet still facilitates self-directed learning. They provide an authentic learning environment, which enhances the nature of learning and thinking, problem solving and the integration of knowledge.
2. On-line Research Modules, as developed by McKenzie (1997), engage students in higher level critical thinking and problem solving through a structured research process. Students answer important questions that require original thought instead of simply gathering information.
  1. Ask questions relating to contemporary society such as: Which disease is most deserving of our research dollars? Should Australia become a republic with a republican Head of State, or should it remain a constitutional monarchy?
  2. Treasure Hunts – students work in teams and using a worksheet look for answers on particular websites.
  3. Integrate a treasure hunt for homework to be uploaded on the class wiki.
  4. Use as a research tool for gathering information for an assessment task.
  5. Use to teach how to use the internet safely.
  6. Students design their own WebQuests for learning.


Examples:
I designed this WebQuest for a Grade 11 English Class studying 21st century narratives. Topics include hypertext and intertextuality.

Intertextuality Webquest


Further Resources:

About WebQuests

The WebQuest Page by Bernie Dodge. This site offers background information, reading and training materials and a collection of examples of WebQuests accessible via the Portal page.
http://webquest.sdsu.edu/webquest.html

WebQuests for Learning by Tom March. This site offers a good introduction to some of the key ideas behind WebQuests and how they are able to support student learning.
http://ozline.com/learning/

WebQuests in Our Future: The Teacher’s Role in Cyberspace by Kathy Schrock. This site includes some excellent links to additional sites and a PowerPoint presentation outlining the nature and components of WebQuests.
http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/webquest/webquest.html

Concept to Classroom - WebQuest training materials
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/webquests/index.html

Making the net work for schools - an Article by Jamie McKenzie describing Online Research Modules.
http://www.fno.org/sept97/online.html

WebQuest Examples

WebQuest Resources. A Comprehensive page by Yvonne Murtagh on many aspects of WebQuests, including what they are and how to create them
http://www.tsof.edu.au/resources/webquests/

This site provides information about Online Research Modules and WebQuests.
http://www.eddept.wa.edu.au/cmis/eval/curriculum/onlineactivities/webquests/

In this article, Maureen Yoder details the history and development of WebQuests and how to make the best use of them.
http://www.kl.unibe.ch/kl/llbs1/Englisch/studentwq.htm

Using the web in education : Webquests the Aussie Way by Dr Sue Trinidad.
http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/strinidad/webquests.html

All about WebQuests. A comprehensive page of links on WebQuests, including information about them, sample WebQuests and WebQuests for specific areas of the curriculum.
http://www.suelebeau.com/webquests.htm

This page provided by the P.L. Duffy Resource Centre Trinity College provides numerous links to information and examples of WebQuests.
http://library.trinity.wa.edu.au/teaching/webquests.htm

Resources to Design Your Own WebQuest
WebQuest Direct
http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/

Filamentality
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/

Free Online Tools
Moodle
Moodle is a software package for producing internet-based courses and web sites. It's free and simple to use with very clean lines that is designed to support a social constructionist framework of education.

EBoard
An easy-to-use online service that lets any educator create a web site in just minutes. eBoard acts like an on-line cork board where you can post information for students and parents. Postings show up as sticky notes, which can be opened by clicking on the note title.

Web-and-flowTom March's webquest site - Australia. See also Best Webquests.

TrackstarSequence existing instructional content in various web sites within a lesson. Keep students on task by linking questions directly to your selected websites.
Hot Potatoes
Create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching and gap-fill exercises for the web.