I have been coming across some really terrible "WebQuests" lately!
They have been mostly a series of web-based activities around a theme rather than a REAL WebQuest!
What is a REAL WebQuest?
Here are some pointers.........
- The WebQuest should incorporate Problem-based Learning (PBL). So there needs to be a messy, authentic problem to solve. This is usually in the form of a Big Question (Focus Question, Essential Question).
- It should incorporate Collaborative Learning Principles - group work.
- There needs to be roles or perspectives that reflect the society's values. For example, if the problem was around the big question: "Should the International Whaling Commission [IWC] ban Whaling?";
the roles could be:
- A Green Peace representative
- A Japanese Scientist
- An Indigenous representative, representing those Indigenous peoples whose tradition is to undertake whaling
- A Whale Watching Entrepreneur who has developed a business around Whale Watching
- An Historian or UN Lawyer who researches the past decisions around Whaling.
These roles can be antagonistic [as the above example] - where different alliances are formed! But they are NOT to be research roles or reporting roles!
The activities MUST promote Higher Order Thinking
The scaffolding - Introduction, Task, Process, Resources, Evaluation, and Conclusion are present.
The Conclusion calls for further action on the part of the student.
Below is the Criteria that WebQuest Direct uses to provide an Educational Rating for each WebQuest they review:
WEBQUEST CREATION CRITERIA CHECKLIST
|This is to be like a book cover – intriguing and interesting.
There should be a hook here to introduce the students to the big question (has to be an open ended question).
Images are important here and throughout the WebQuest to enhance visual literacy.
Introduces a Real Messy Problem to be solved.
||Point Form summarising the tasks that the students have to achieve
Background for Everyone
Higher Order Thinking Skill Activities present
||Interesting and complex (messy) and real problem to solve
Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS) Activities present: This is essential!
o More Perspectives or Roles present – hopefully antagonistic and reflecting the “real” world. These roles should NOT be research roles only.
Team work – Cooperative Learning
Steps showing students what they have to do – clear, concise, sequential,
|/35 (of which 15 points will be assigned to the Messy Problem and 15 points
will be assigned
||Relevant to student age, readability, and, role
Quirky – giving students different perspectives
||Rubric showing all the tasks that the students are to undertake for assessment
Optional: peer assessment
Optional: self assessment
||Encourages local and/or further action – another activity that is to be assessed.
Real World Feedback
Reflection of Learning
Is NOT a motherhood statement or platitude eg. “Congratulations, you now know about....”
||Learners – Age, State, Country,
Curriculum Standards Addressed – listed and linked
Duration – number of lessons (if below 4 lessons, this will be considered a research assignment only – as not enough time has been given to Higher Order Thinking Skills).
Process – Lesson Plans (or, any ideas for other teachers to consider)
Resources – any resources that could be used by the teacher in preparation for this unit of work
|Visual Impact/Use of Audio
||Appropriate Template/Design used on Home Page and subsequent pages
Images or graphics used to aid students
Layout and Design – font size appropriate to target audience; colour of font; navigation; placement of images Use of audio especially for students in Pre-school or early Primary/Elementary years.
|Use of Technology
||Technology Skills developed or Technology used eg. Kids Pix; iMovie; Zoomerang; Kahootz; animation; PowerPoint; Wiki; podcast; Inspiration; Mind Mapping; Venn Diagrams
<10 – 19 points = 0 star
20 points = 0.5 star
30 points = 1 star
40 points = 1.5 stars
50 points = 2 stars
60 points = 2.5 stars
70 points = 3 stars
80 points = 3.5 stars
90 points = 4 stars
100 points = 4.5 stars
110 points + = 5 stars