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Course Materials: WebQuest Project

Your WebQuest will guide a specific inquiry-based experience. Although originally intended for learning experiences, a WebQuest could also be designed as an informational or entertainment tool. It can be designed for a single day, summer promotion, a week-end retreat, week-long unit, or semester-long course. Focus on meaningful activities and engaging use of electronic materials, not the length of the project.

DO NOT use the same topic as your pathfinder. Try something new.

Option 1: School-based WebQuest

Most WebQuests you find are designed for the school environment. They include a STUDENT and a TEACHER section. The student section is aimed directly at kids and provides everything they need to complete the inquiry on their own. The teacher section lists standards and contains specific ideas to help the teacher guide learners through the learning experience. Explore a few examples:

Option 2: Public Library-based WebQuest

The WebQuest format can easily be adapted for the public library setting. It should include a section for young people and also an adult guide. The section for young people will guide them through an inquiry. The adult guide provides ideas for librarians, teachers, parents, or other adult leaders. For instance, a WebQuest might be used to help young child and their parents select and care for a pet, help pre-teens learn about babysitting, or assist teens in applying for college. Explore a few examples:

Option 3: Literature-based WebQuest

Designed for either a school or public library setting, a literature-based WebQuest puts a book at the center of an inquiry. Go to The Brooklyn Nine WebQuest for an excellent example.

Explore a few examples:

Option 4: Wiki-based WebQuest

Rather than young people simply using your WebQuest, design an environment where young people can participate in activities right within the WebQuest. Create a wiki using a tool such as Wikispaces. In addition to creating the traditional WebQuest pages in the wiki, it can also be used for young people to post their projects and discuss ideas with their classmates. You won't find many examples, but here are a few for ideas. Keep in mind that some of these examples are simplified versions of WebQuests.

Go to Goofy Global News. There are three WebQuest pages. Notice that the Sample Page contains a discussion item. The Issue 1 page will contain the student assignments and discussions.

Go to Banned Books. This WebQuest is not complete, but shows you how young people might be involved in the wiki.

Explore other examples:

You may develop a WebQuest from scratch or adapt an existing webquest. Adaptations are original works that integrate ideas from a number of lessons or WebQuests. If you adapt ideas, you should include a reference list in your WebQuest citing the works you adapted. If you copy anything directly for another WebQuest, you MUST GET permission from the original web developer and include a note referencing this duplication. If another person already has a great WebQuest online, consider another topic. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel.

You can develop your project from a word processor, web development tool, or raw HTML. If you'd like to use a template, explore mine or use some of the suggested links for idea.

To ensure success, be sure to carefully read the course WebQuest page.

WebQuest Elements

Keep in mind that your WebQuest should take an inquiry-based approach. In other words, rather than a scavenger hunt for information, it should begin with an authentic problem or real-world dilemma. The WebQuest should guide young people through a process problem-solving or investigation. The series of steps should end in a culminating project, activity, or decision.

Your WebQuest can be formatted any way you wish. You do not need to use the headings I use. However, your WebQuest must meet the following requirements.

Introduction

Provide a catchy introduction that will motivate, set the stage, and gain the attention of your audience. It should speak directly to your children or young adults. It may also provide some background information as needed. Consider a quote, statistic, scenario, or problem.

Be sure to incorporate attractive, engaging visuals throughout your WebQuest.

Task

Provide a clear, concise, active statement of the activities. The task should be something doable and interesting. For example, it could be a series of reflective questions, problem to be solved, position to be debated, or creative work. It should require thinking and doing. Use the Taxonomy of Tasks for ideas.

Process, Resources, & Guidance

Think about the learning process. Create a step-by-step description of what you expect children or young adults to do during the project. Remember, this should be written so that a child or teen can work independently. It should also be VERY DETAILED. Young people should be able to work their way through the materials with little adult guidance.

Product

Rather than simply providing a list of activities, think about how these activities build toward a larger goal. Provide effective guidelines for students to create a culminating project. Use the following guidelines for completing your project:

Evaluation or Reflection

How will the work of young people be assessed? If you're working in a public library setting, you might provide a checklist of activities. While educational settings might use a rubric, test, or other evaluation tools.

Conclusion

Create an interesting culminating activity that allows students to reflect on the experience and share their skills and knowledge with others.

Adult, Teacher, Librarian Materials

This section should be SUBSTANTIAL. Think about those materials that would help a librarian or other adult supervise this WebQuest. Are there promotions, displays, group activities, or other things that would be helpful in creating an engaging learning environment for this project?

The page should include the need for the WebQuest and it's uses. In school settings, standards should be listed. Describe the audience for the WebQuest. Additional materials such as supplemental materials and lesson plan links could also be included. Think about other helpful hints such as classroom management considerations.

Include ideas for adults who might guide the experience such as a timeline of activities, ways to motivate young learners, ways to differentiate or accomodate special needs, or other helpful tips.

Resources

Your WebQuest must contain electronic materials for children and/or young adults. Feel free to draw extensively from your Pathfinder. However, your WebQuest resources should be organized and integrated for maximum effectiveness as focused specifically on the WebQuest audience and mission. Your resources should be annotated rather than simply a list. Also provide recommendations for how each resource might be used within the project.

Be sure to include ALL FOUR of the following required elements:

Focused Websites, Databases, Apps, and/or Software

Resources should use specific websites, databases, apps, and/or software. Selected resources should address differences in reading levels, learning styles, and varied channels or communication (i.e., audio, video, visual). These differences should be clear in the descriptions. When possible, make children and young adults aware of the unique aspects of each resources through useful descriptions. For younger children, notes might be included in the Adult/Teacher page. At least one of your resources should have step-by-step instructions, search strategies, or other assistance in use of the resource.

Productivity Software Tool(s)

Sometimes a word processed document, database, spreadsheet, diagram, enhanced photograph, draw/paint package, chart, graph, concept map, timeline, presentation tool, or other creativity tool might be valuable for a learner's project. These may be web-based, app-based, or desktop-based. In other words, you could use Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Apple Pages App. It could be a generic tool such as Timeliner to create timelines that compare experiences in a book with actual historical events. ComicLife to create comic projects. Or, using Inspiration to visualize the relationships among issues. You MUST provide a template (that students or patrons would use as a starting point) OR a sample item you or a student created.

Interactive Website(s)

Are there online builders and tools you could integrate? What about social media sites? What about calculators, converters, timeline builders, worksheet creators, or puzzle makers? What about web-based tools for building maps, timelines, graphs, charts, or others? How about an "ask-th-expert" element where students communicate online with an expert? Could students create a QR Code? You might include an interactive element in your WebQuest. It must be a web-based tool or interactive opportunity where students play an active role such as entering data, sharing ideas, or completing an online simulation.

Game, Image, Audio, or Video Collection

Incorporate resources related to game, image, audio, or video collections. Think about which of these areas best matches with the needs of your learners. You may be able to incorporate ideas from more than one of these areas.

Submission

Keep in mind that your project should be written directly for your audience. If you're creating this for first graders, then use appropriate text and visuals. You may even want to include audio. In other words, it should be written for the global audience of young people, not just for your instructor.

Save the document as a web page and upload it to a webserver. This should be a somewhat permanent location. I recommend Google Sites or Weebly. However other tools such as QuestGarden or Zunal is fine.

When your project is ready to grade, go to Oncourse and post a message in your Cohort group. Be sure to double check your web link or uploaded document to be sure it works!

Evaluation


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