WebQuests are an inquiry-based lessons, where children use the web as a source for research.
What Is a WebQuest?
WebQuests are a way for teachers to scaffold a child’s learning through the web, while taking advantage of the greatest store of human knowledge that has ever existed. By structuring learning experiences, the teacher is able to give children the opportunity to explore the learning opportunities the web provides, while making real learning opportunities.
How Does a WebQuest Work?
WebQuests have a fixed structure, which involves five stages: the Task; the Process; the Resources; the Evaluation and the Conclusion.
A creative and imaginative problem or scenario that outlines the nature of the project to be achieved.
This describes the steps the student needs to carry out in order to complete the task.
This section describes the resources the student should use: in both the real world and the web. It is a good idea to gather some basic resources or sites to narrow what might otherwise seem an overwhelming amount of information.
This section outlines (in advance!) the ways in which the children will be evaluated. This allows children to prioritise the tasks steps and process their information more efficiently.
The conclusion outlines any further learning extensions that may follow the project.
Who Are WebQuests For?
WebQuests are a great way of learning at all ages. They build on real-world skills and tasks can be adapted to suit any class or age group, with any ability.
Why Are WebQuests Good?
WebQuests are above all exciting projects that ensure a highly motivated learning experience. The web provides a rich learning environment, and the structure of WebQuests allows teachers to tailor this content to the specific needs of their class.
They develop web research skills, but combine them with real-world skills like gathering data, recording, estimating, calculation, problem-solving, synthesising, communicating, evaluating… etc. etc. which echo directly some of the skills the curriculum seeks to promote.
What Do I Have To Do?
Very little. Just google “WebQuest” along with whatever topic you’d like and you will be inundated with so many quality WebQuests, all designed by educators. This leaves you with tweaking the content to suit your needs. Or if you feel inspired, creating a WebQuest from scratch to fit the needs of your pupils specifically!
The objectives will be determined by the task and the process involved. Emphasis should always be placed on processing and using information.
WebQuests are suitable for use across all subjects. It just requires an imaginative starting point and suitably structured research resources.
Web access for pupils/groups of pupils. You will need to dedicate time to allow the work to take place, and provide any real-world resources (e.g. paper, glue, scissors etc. if the children are to make a poster as part of the task.)
Most WebQuest tasks define a fixed output as part of the task. This will stand as an end-point measure of portfolio assessment. The Evaluation section affords self-assessment in a formative way, while teachers will need to observe, conference with, question and challenge their pupils as usual as the project unfolds.
The Evaluation section allows pupils to see in advance the success criteria involved in the task. By creating these criteria in a rubric, you can leave room for individual learning preferences and abilities to flourish.
WebQuests make use of technology skills such as desktop publishing, internet searching and image collation etc. as par for the course. However, the inquiry-led approach helps develop mathematical skils; oral and written language skills; comprehension and presentation skills; problem-solving; scientific-, historical- and geographical-inquiry as required and endless creativity.