Teacher Tap

school bus in snowWebQuest Adaptation

Sometimes you can't find exactly what you're looking for in a WebQuest, but don't have time to create one from scratch. You may need to adapt the best elements of a number of WebQuests to create one that works for you.

Be sure to give credit for any ideas you use from other websites. You can place these at the bottom of the page or on a separate credits page. If you wish to copy elements, BE SURE to get permission first.

eye means qualityRead Adapting and Enhancing Existing WebQuests by Bernie Dodge (2002).
This article discusses the process and issues in modifying a WebQuest you find on the web.

Complete the following sections of this page to learn more about adapting WebQuests: The Art of Adapation and Tools for Adapation.

The Art of Adaptation

Consider the following areas when adapting a WebQuest. Re-examine a WebQuest you've explored and see if you can adapt it in some way. What modifications would you make to create a WebQuest that works for you? Consider ways to eliminate linkrot, adjust the level or purpose, adapt for region, or extend the scope of the project.

Eliminate Linkrot

A common problem with WebQuests is linkrot. This occurs because many people don't update their WebQuests regularly. Most WebQuests are developed in college courses and professional development workshops, then forgotten. If you find a good WebQuest with broken links, create your own resources page.

Mix and Match

Often, you'll find elements of different WebQuests you like. For example, you might love the scenario in one, the resources in another, and the rubric in yet another WebQuest. Mix and match the best elements from a number of WebQuests.

bus activityExamine the following three WebQuests (Renaissance 1, Renaissance 2, Renaissance 3, Renaissance 4, Renaissance 5, Renaissance 6)
Or explore WebQuests based on the book, The Giver: The Perfect Society, The Giver, WebQuest for The Giver, A WebQuest on Lois Lowry and The Giver, Give Jonas a New Home.
What aspects would you use and eliminate in creating your own?

Adjust Level or Purpose

In some cases you need to adjust the WebQuest to meet the standards you are addressing. This might involve adding higher or lower level activities. you might also change the reading level or development level of the assignments.

bus activityExamine the The Oprah Show.
How could you adjust this to meet the needs of a younger or older class?

Adapt for Region

Sometimes WebQuests are designed for a particular region. For example, it might be intended for use on the shore or in the mountains. Or, it might have been designed for a particular state or province. In some cases you can just add an explanation about the particular region and use the WebQuest as it is. In other cases, you might want to use the same idea, but change the setting entirely to fit your needs.

bus activityExamine the Ontario History Quest. This WebQuest is set in Canada. Would you adapt the WebQuest for you own town and country? Or adjust the directions to meet the needs of your standards from another country?

Extend the Scope

WebQuests often stimulate great ideas. Sometimes you can expand an idea that a WebQuest starts. On other cases, you might use the basic design pattern and create your own WebQuest from scratch.

bus activityExamine a Feudalism WebQuest: Japan and Europe. How could you use this comparison idea with another topic?

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Tools for Adaptation

Adapting a WebQuest can save lots of time over creating you own. However, even modifying existing materials takes time. Look for link replacements, primary sources and data, collaborative experience, process and product resources, and multimedia resources. Use the following resources to save time as you adapt materials.

Link Replacements

Many times you can fix a link that's broken by going back to the root of the web link. In other words, let's say you can't get the following website to work

Try, removing the page file name and just leaving the webserver and subdirectory:

You may be able to find the page if it has been renamed. Also try doing a web search for the title of the page. It may be under a different address.

If you can't find the original page, consider a replacement. Use thematic starters to save time. Use some of the following materials to help locate quality web resources:

Primary Sources and Data

Sometimes you need sources of data and primary materials for your project. You might also be seeking online news or reference tools. Maybe you want to provide a virtual experience such as a field trip, library, or museum. Use some of the following materials to help locate quality information sources:

Collaborative Experiences

Consider building a collaborative experience into your project. You may wish to interact with students through email or in a threaded discussion. Children may e-talk with experts or share ideas with children in other countries. Use some of the following materials to help locate collaborative opportunities:

Process and Product Resources

Learners should be actively engaged in the WebQuest materials. However, some students may need to review key concepts, build skills through practice, or challenge themselves. They also may need to skills inproduct development. Interactive games and tutorials can extend your WebQuest. Students enjoy having an authentic audience for their projects. Consider incorporating a contest, fair or online publishing opportunity. Use some of the following materials to help locate process and product resources:

Multimedia Resources

Some WebQuests are just plain ugly. Use online resources to locate sources for visuals. Consider incorporating the artwork of students or your own photographs! Use some of the following materials to help locate quality visuals:

Inquiry and Information Tools

Students often need assistance as they work their way through a project. Below are some resources to assist young people in their projects.

Web 2.0 Applications

Blogs. Incorporate blogs, audiocasts, and podcasts as communication tools.

Wikis. Involve young people in creating a wiki as part of a WebQuest

Google Earth. Incorporate Google Earth as a tool to explore literature connections.

bus activityLocate one or more WebQuests on a single topic.
Adapt a WebQuest using the resources above.

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