Making Prescriptive Use of the Internet for Learning
WebQuests are an excellent way of using Internet resources in a prescriptive manner to develop students’ research skills and take advantage of the wide variety of resources available on the Web.
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 by Bernie Dodge with Tom March. According to Bernie Dodge, there are six steps to a successful Unit WebQuest:
1) Introduction – Sets the stage or scenario
2) Task – The product the student will create to demonstrate the learning
3) Process – How to go about it (teacher guides the students through the task)
4) Resources – The web sites (and other sources!) that will be used in the process
5) Evaluation – How the product or performance will be evaluated
6) Conclusion – Summarizes the project and reviews what has been learned; links to prior and future learning
WebQuests are generally split into short-term and long-term types:
- Short-Term WebQuests (or Treasure Hunts) involve looking for solid knowledge on a subject. This is a search for the facts and information available. The student may or may not be asked to form an opinion. The instructional goal is knowledge acquisition and integration.The learner deals with a significant amount of new information and makes sense of it.
- Unit or Long-Term WebQuests are inquiry-oriented and based on a higher-level thinking question or “Big Idea,” often called an “Essential Question.” They are focused on using information, not just looking for it. The instructional goal is extending and refining knowledge. The learner analyzes information, transforms it, and demonstrates deeper understanding through some type of presentation.
Here are some links where you can learn more about WebQuests: