WebQuests


A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in February, 1995 and has been embraced by thousands of educators from around the world who create and share their own WebQuests. While individual WebQuests vary widely, they typically include the following sections:
  • The Introduction - this section sets the stage for the activity - often tying to a real-world situation
  • The Task - includes the specific purpose and objectives for the WebQuest
  • The Process - step-by-step process to achieve the task - often divided into groups where students have specific roles in helping the group achieve the task
  • The Resources - a collection of carefully selected, and often categorized, links to Web-based resources that provide students with the necessary information/data to complete the task
  • The Conclusion - typically some type of performance-based activity that challenges students to synthesize what they've learned to demonstrate their understanding of the objectives outlined in the task

The WebQuest model effectively scaffolds inquiry-oriented activities for learners of various ages and in various content areas. They tend to focus on critical thinking, synthesis and analysis, and often challenge students to work collaboratively, leveraging social constructivist principles. The quality, structure, and emphasis of WebQuests found online can vary quite a bit. WebQuests range from focused activities that may be completed in one or two class periods to large-scale projects that may take several weeks to complete. To use a WebQuest "as-is" in the classroom may be fairly straight-forward and quick to prepare for. Most often, however, teachers modify the activity to meet the needs of their students and the constraints of their classroom. Sometimes you can modify an existing WebQuest simply by adjusting the procedures and our resources in a handout for your students. More often, though, teachers will develop a modified WebQuest build on one developed by another teacher (citing the original creator of course) and post their own version on the Web (perhaps using a tool like Wikispaces). Teachers may also choose to create their own original WebQuest from scratch. While this approach will certainly take more time, this is the most direct way to ensure that the content and process skills align with your curriculum.

Please explore some of the following examples linked below. You can also visit the WebQuest site and archive to find additional examples.

Samples