is "an inquiry-oriented activity, which some or all of the
information that learners interact with comes from resources on
the Internet." (Dodge,
1995). WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to
focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support
learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
The model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University
Dodge with Tom
is its purpose?
allow students to complete authentic projects and use technology
to find and present information and, at the same time, alleviate
some of the barriers teachers may find in their attempt to work
in the confines of project-based learning. Generally,WebQuests
are cooperative activities where students assume different roles
relative to an authentic problem. The Internet is usually the main
information resource, although other more traditional resources,
such as magazines and journals, can be included. The WebQuest itself
provides structure to the investigation of the authentic topic,
thereby increasing the ability of students to successfully navigate
a highly unstructured environment such as the Internet. Students
then develop a product which then demonstrates their knowledge of
the problem and its potential solutions.
enjoy WebQuests because they are given the opportunity to use the
Internet to find and apply information. The students may also learn
to use presentation software, which allows them to impart their
information in a creative way while educating others.
benefit from WebQuests in a number of ways. For example, rubrics
for each project and Web resource addresses are provided, authentic
learning occurs, ideas for projects are supplies, and learning is
fun for students while they integrate technology. WebQuests can
and should be modified by the teacher to fit the needs of the classroom.
can I do it?
planning for project-learning, you should always start with the
end in mind. A WebQuest can provide you with the project for a unit
of study. After reading through a specific WebQuest, you can then
begin to select the objectives to be mastered. An alternative way
to start could be to select objectives and then find a WebQuest
that would help master those to be taught. Subsequently, you can
decide which enabling activities need to be taught. Every WebQuest
has an Introduction, a Task, Resources, a Process, Evaluation (with
a rubric), and a Conclusion.
you can imagine, having the students complete a WebQuest can be
a wonderful experience. Here are some tips to help you start and
succeed with your first few.
your WebQuest before you use it.
the WebQuest so that it will meet the needs of your class. Sometimes
you may have to alter the procedure to suit the one-computer classroom
or break up the steps.
is helpful to perform the initial WebQuest as a group so that
the students may become familiar with the process and ask any
questions as you proceed.
to let the students explore and have fun. There will be times
when the WebQuest does not proceed the way you intended, but learning
is still taking place.
can I adapt it?
are most likely to be group activities, although one could imagine
solo quests that might be applicable in distance education or
They can be designed within a single discipline or they can be
single computer can be used to drive whole-class discussion and
exploration with the teacher, not the students, controlling the
to 10 computers can be used as learning stations for students
to cycle through while others work offline.
the only access to the Internet students have is by a scheduled
(and limited) set of lab periods, then a well-orchestrated lesson
proceeds that lab visit with offline activities so students are
prepared to use lab time well.
all computers dont have Internet access, then students can
access Web archives created on another computer and saved on their
& Evaluation Considerations
WebQuests result in productspaper or oral reports, multimedia
presentations, dramatic performances, artwork, or musical compositions.
The most appropriate evaluation tool for all of these forms often
is a rubric that is used by the teacher and perhaps by other students.
The most effective rubrics include a variety of criteria and benchmarks
for accomplishment in each category. Creating
A Rubric for a Given Task is an excellent site for designing
your own customized rubric.