Creating WebQuests

Pioneers faced many new, unique problems on the prairie. They had to be creative problem-solvers to defeat great odds against their survival. Some pioneers fought the prairie, while others lived with the prairie.

Your students also need critical thinking and problem solving skills. Webquest help students developing thinking skills while focusing on practical, content-related problems.

WebQuests provide an authentic, technology-rich environment for problem solving, information processing, and collaboration. This inquiry-based approach to learning involves students in a wide range of activities that make good use of Internet-based resources. Bernie Dodge developed the WebQuest concept back in the mid 1990s. To learn more about WebQuests, check out his website at San Diego State University or Tom March's site called WebQuests & More.

Activity 1: Explore WebQuests
Explore and evaluate webquests using the evaluation form found at the WebQuest Overview site. WebQuests all share the same basic elements. These include an introduction, task, information resources, processes, learning advice, and evaluation. Look for the basic WebQuest elements in one of the following examples: 
Click on one of the following grade levels for a set of webquest examples and resources by grade level:
Explore the following lists of webquest resources:

Try using the Filamentality search tool to find a webquest in your content area and grade level.

Try locating a webquest using a search engine. Try Northern Light or Yahoo. Use quotation marks to narrow the search such as "earthquake webquest" or "gold rush" + "webquest"
Activity 2: Integrate WebQuest
Webquests can serve three important functions.
1) Webquests can be motivating for students by providing an interesting, self-directed learning environment.
2) Webquests can meet content area standards by asking students to locate and effectively communicate information.
3) Webquests can help promote critical thinking and collaborative goals.
Do you consider these three areas important? If so, how can you be certain that each element is integrated into a webquest activity?
Activity 3: Design a WebQuest
Design a webquest with the following features:
Introduction: Motivation, sets the stage, provides background information
Task: Something doable & interesting
series of questions, summary to be created, problem to be solved, position to be debated, creative work, something that requires thinking!
Information Resources: Specific, appropriate resources
web documents, experts available via Internet, searchable databases on the net, books and other documents, real objects
Process/Procedures: List of activities
Step-by-step instructions, Timeline
Learning Advice/ Guidance: Describe how to organize info
Guiding questions, directions to complete, checklists, timelines, concept maps, cause-and-effect diagrams, action plan
Evaluation: Assess student work
checklists, rubrics
Conclusion: Bring project to closure.
remind learners about what they've learne, encourage learners to extend the experience
Other Elements: Roles to play, group collaboration guidelines, motivating scenario, teacher resources 
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Developing Project Partnerships

Developed by Annette Lamb, 10/99. Update 8/00.