What is a "real" WebQuest?

by frances 20. June 2009 10:36

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.........

  1. 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).
      
  2. It should incorporate Collaborative Learning Principles - group work.
       
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

  5. The activities MUST promote Higher Order Thinking

  6. The scaffolding - Introduction, Task, Process, Resources, Evaluation, and Conclusion are present.

  7. 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

Section Content Score/135
Home Page
(Optional)
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.
/10
Introduction Catchy Title

Introduces a Real Messy Problem to be solved.
/10
Task Point Form summarising the tasks that the students have to achieve

Background for Everyone

Higher Order Thinking Skill Activities present
/10
Process Interesting and complex (messy) and real problem to solve

Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS) Activities present: This is essential!
o One
o Two
o Three
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
to HOTS)
Resources Relevant to student age, readability, and, role

Extensive

Quirky – giving students different perspectives
/10
Evaluation Rubric showing all the tasks that the students are to undertake for assessment

Optional: peer assessment
Optional: self assessment
/10
Conclusion 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....”
/10
Teacher's Guide 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

Pre-requisites
/20
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.
/10
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
  Total Score /135

 Star Rating 

<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

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What is a WebQuest?

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary School.com.au Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!

 

Clustr Map

Created WebQuests

Champions of Justice
Federator
Gold Force
Community Shopping Centre Planner
Can you get the party started?
Reminders of our moral conscience
The Petrov Affair
Careers
My Business Rules
Pluto's planetary status