2010: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 1. January 2010 17:11
This year I'm going to concentrate on exploring the topic: What is a WebQuest?, as I am concerned after reviewing lots of "WebQuests" that the concept is not fully understood by teachers, student teachers and trainers. It seems such a pity that this amazing concept by Prof Bernie Dodge and Tom March might be cut off from students and new ideas and innovations not explored.
I will explore the six or seven sections [Introduction, Task, Process, Resources, Evaluation, Conclusion, Teacher's/Trainer's Guide] within a WebQuest by showing examples of great WQs within the following subject areas:
  • Careers
  • English & Language Arts (ELA)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL/EFL)
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Languages Other than English
  • Library
  • Life Skills
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PE), Sports
  • Professional Development
  • Religious Education & Values
  • Science
  • Social Studies - History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy 
  • Special Education
  • Technology and Design
  • The Arts & Music
  • The Classics
Let me know if you wish to have any other topic explored!!! I will use the thousands of WQ reviews within WebQuest Direct to give you these great examples.
I will also explore some University level WQs - as I think more University instruction and assessment should be based around WebQuests.
I will also look at the underpinning pedagogy particularly Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, HOTS, PBL, Collaborative Learning Techniques, and embedding Technologies.
Tips: Creative Thinking
For Christmas, I was given an exciting book: The Creativity Formula

This book by Dr. Amantha Imber provides 50 proven creativity boosters - just the thing for WebQuesters!

Hope you enjoy the journey!!!

All the best for this new and hopefully exciting year, 2010.

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What is a WebQuest?

An Introduction to Using WebQuests in your Classroom (2001)

by frances 6. February 2009 11:19

This website by Juliet Szyprowski, at Montgomery College, goes through the following ideas [using slides - so great for any Professional Development (PD)]

a. An Introduction to Using WebQuests in your Classroom

b. What is a WebQuest?

c. WebQuests are focused activities in which students utilize Web-based resources to perform an interesting task.

d. In a WebQuest...

e. What are the benefits of WebQuests?

f. The 6 Components of a WebQuest

i. Introduction

ii. The Task

iii. The Process

iv. Resources

v. Evaluation

vi. Conclusion

g. Example WebQuests:

i. Who will you vote for?

ii. On the Cutting Edge

iii. Tuskegee Tragedy

What do you think?

The WebQuest Page

Comment: These slides give an excellent overview of "What is a WebQuest?" and would be a good way to introduce the topic of WebQuests at a staff meeting as these slides are simple and direct.

I would suggest that you have an interactive activity after these slides of other WebQuests teachers could to go to (particularly ones that would suit their curriculum needs), discuss/debate, and, see what needed to be changed to be used in their classroom. Don't forget to tell them about how they can use SWAT (IT'S FREE) to adapt a WebQuest to their classroom [always acknowledging the original author].

The examples given provide you with some ideas about the style, design, and content, however, they are not the best WebQuests (although the Tuskegee Tragedy is excellent and built by Tom March, the Co-Creator of the concept of WebQuests). To give you an idea of the quality, here is WebQuest Direct's Review of "On the Cutting Edge":  


1. On the Cutting Edge  Bronze award       

Key Learning Areas: Professional Development; Technology & Design
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Using technology; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Design; Research
Grade Levels: Secondary / High School; Teacher; Community; Business Training
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English
 Author: David Young

Designed for participants undertaking training with T-spider.net but also suitable for students in Years 10 - 12 studying Technology, Computer Studies or Graphic Design students. Students are to investigate for the critical characteristics and examples of a perfect website. This would be a good activity to use when planning for or designing a school website (or designing a website) or teaching students to critically analyse websites. Students have to produce a "design grid," after investigating websites from the perspective of: an Information Architect, Graphics Designer, Programmer, and Content Manager. They are to come to an agreement (concensus) about their grid. Resources: adequate although many more could be provided especially new Web 2.0 tools. Evaluation: No evaluation rubric is given. Conclusion is a wrap up along with asking participants to complete an online survey; and, write a brief reflection paper describing what they learnt about web site design and about the concept of WebQuest itself. No Teacher's Guide, Curriculum Standards, Duration or Implementation Advice is provided. Design and Layout: basic. Last updated 2006.
Also at: http://ouray.cudenver.edu/~dl0young/cutting_edge/files/index.html



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