|Why Not Create A
WebQuest This Summer? Judy
Two summers ago, I attended one of the best professional development
workshops I have ever been to. When I finished the workshop I had
created a WebQuest for my Biology 1 students ("Genetic
Detectives"). I have since discovered that the Internet has hundreds
of teacher-created WebQuests. However, the process of writing my own
was quite fulfilling and I urge you to consider creating one.
What is a WebQuest?
A WebQuest is an inquiry activity that usually has students working
in groups with assigned roles and doing their research primarily on
the Internet. The best WebQuests also require students to present
their work in some "authentic" way. Usually students are asked to
work with problems that do not have simple answers. Many WebQuests
involve students in researching and reflecting on ethical questions.
The WebQuest instructions, themselves, are accessed through the Internet.
How do I create a WebQuest?
There are many wonderful sites that describe how to create a WebQuest.
The one I like best is
Using a Webquest in Your Classroom. I will summarize the
organization of my WebQuest below.
What are the features
of a WebQuest?
A well-constructed WebQuest will include the following:
This gives the student a context for the activity. In my WebQuest,
I remind students of how the discovery of the structure of the DNA
molecule has revolutionized our understanding of genetics.
Task: In this section, students will find the question or problem
that they need to solve. In "Genetic Detectives," I tell the students
about the "Moneytoburn Foundation." I explain that the students will
be deciding which genetic disorder should receive the research money
that is available.
Process: This usually is the longest
section. Here is where students will find the assignment and the procedure.
In my WebQuest, I describe the group roles, the research procedures,
the decision rubric that they will use, and the final PowerPoint presentation
they will create.
Evaluation: This section describes
how students will be evaluated. I always give my students the evaluation
rubric in advance so they can clearly see how I describe high quality
Conclusion: This section could just as easily
be called "reflection." Here is where I give an individual assignment
asking students to reflect on what they have learned.
Page: This section gives instructions to the teacher that expand
on some of the student instructions. The Teacher Page includes an
introduction, description of the learners for whom the activity is
appropriate, the standards that are addressed, the resources required,
more on evaluation, and a conclusion.
section is very important. I used several lovely DNA graphics from
the Internet and I requested permission to use them from the creators
of those graphics. It is vital in this era of easy access to information
that we give credit to our sources.
Now, I invite you to visit my WebQuest and encourage you to create
your own! Please email me, ask questions, share insights, and let
me know what you have created.
Please share you ideas with me via e-mail.