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A WebQuest About WebQuests

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


In keeping with the hands-on, inquiry aspect of the WebQuest model, what better way to learn about WebQuests than by taking part in one ourselves?

You will work in a group, answer questions based on your group role, investigate Internet resources, and collaborate with your group members to answer the task below.


The Task

Though each group member will have different areas to address, the over-arching task will be to come up with an answer to the following two questions: "Why use WebQuests in the classroom? What value do they have for both students and teachers? "


The Process

  1. To address the task given above, you'll break into groups of four. Within the group, each of you will take on one of the following roles: (NOTE: If you have only 3 members, please skip either the doer or the researcher role.)

    The Organizer: You learn best by gathering facts and mastering the basics first. You are comforted by structure and order. You want to learn the nuts and bolts before you can go any further.

    What is this WebQuest thing anyway? What does one look like? Is there a format I should follow when creating one? How should a WebQuest be structured?

    The Protegee: You learn best by example. You like to watch others do something, and then replicate it for yourself. You want to see some other WebQuests before you can proceed on your own.

    What have other teachers been doing with WebQuests? What are some good examples of WebQuests? How do you know a good WebQuest once you've seen it?

    The Doer: You are the kind of person that jumps head-first into things. Enough talking. You want to find out how to do this yourself. You aren't as interested in what others have done...you want to find a way to do it yourself.

    What steps do you have to take to create your
    own WebQuest? What skills do you need to know? What should be considered when designing a WebQuest? Are there some web sites that can help you get going?

    The Researcher: You learn best by knowing the background about something. To understand something, you need to learn more about it. You want to know all about WebQuests, from a historical and social perspective.

    When did they first start? Who are some people who first began using WebQuests first? What benefits did they see from WebQuests? What skills did they wish to promote in their students?

  2. Individually, you'll examine each of the sites on the list of resources and jot down some notes from the perspective of your role. You'll need to examine several, if not all of the sites to find the information you need to answer the questions according to your group role. Don't spend too much time reading word-for-word. Use the "find" function and page links to find the specific answers you're looking for.

  3. When everyone in the group has answered their own questions, it's time to get together within your group to share responses, first from the perspective of your role. What have you learned in your role? Share this with your group members.

  4. After you have looked at each role's answers, come together as a group to come to a consensus about the over-arching task: "Why use WebQuests?"

  5. One person in from each group should be the recorder and should write down the the group's thoughts.

  6. When debriefing time is called, we will share information discovered both individually, within your role, and collectively, through each group.



Here are the sites you'll be analyzing:

  1. The WebQuest Page: http://webquest.sdsu.edu
  2. Thirteen's WebQuest Workshop: http://thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/webquests/index.html
  3. WebQuest taskonomy: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/taskonomy.html
  4. WebQuest templates: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/LessonTemplate.html
  5. "Some Thoughts About WebQuests" article: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec596/about_webquests.html
  6. "WebQuests for Learning" article: http://ozline.com/webquests/intro.html
  7. Planning a WebQuest: http://ozline.com/webquests/prewrite.html
  8. WebQuest Training Materials: http://webquest.sdsu.edu/materials.htm
  9. WebQuest best examples: http://webquest.org/matrix3.php
  10. TeacherWeb WebQuest template: http://teacherweb.com/AK/Appleton/WebQuest


In the usual structure of a WebQuest, this would be a place to include a rubric, criteria, or other evaluation materials for students to use as a guideline as they proceed throughout a WebQuest. In this case, I am only looking for active participation and sharing of conclusions as we proceed through the exercise.


Ideally, this exercise will provide a majority of introductory information one would need to become familiar with WebQuests, all done via inquiry. Of course, small-group and large-group sharing is essential to provide multiple perspectives.


Please consider some/all of the questions below--

  • What have you learned about WebQuests today that you did not know before?
  • What more do you need to know to create your own WebQuest? What ideas do you have for creating your own WebQuest this week?
  • Did you discover limitations of the WebQuest model? What ideas might you have for creatively solving those limitations?



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