Before we begin, would you like to do a little reading?: The Learning Power of WebQuests
WebQuests all started with this page posted by Bernie Dodge: Some Thoughts About WebQuests. I was team-teaching with Bernie in a teacher prep course on creating interdisciplinary units. I soon began a three year fellowship where the first thing I did was to post the first (non) WebQuest for use outside of our course: Searching for China (version 0.9). This was, “good, but not a WebQuest.” Why? A few years later it became this updated version of Searching for China.
- Here’s a Stixyboard for brainstorming “What are WebQuests?” – Add a sticky with your name and ideas
Take a short period of time (20 – 30 minutes) to review one or more of the WebQuests below. Then brainstorm what you consider to be the critical attributes of a good WebQuest.
- Freedom Fighter or Terrorist?
- Tuskegee Tragedy
- CroolZone – School Safety WebQuest
- Does the Tiger Eat her Cubs?
- The Nuclear Waste WebQuest
- Preparing for a Career
- Study in Hyperrealism
- Australian homes
Return to the “What are WebQuests?” Stixyboard to update your ideas
Choose a Topic
- Choose an area of the curriculum that has enough richness and complexity to warrant deeper investigation.
Probe for Grey Areas
- Where do students typically lack sophistication or have misconceptions?
- Who has vested interests in the topic? What are real jobs that people have who would be interested in this?
- There should be sparks ready to fly between more than a few of the perspectives you’ve listed. For example, if you have “greenies,” you’d better have developers or manufacturers.
Real World Feedback
- Who could you get to give students real feedback on their work? Consider in-person and virtual, peer collaborators and mentors
- solutions? Choose at least one that makes the most sense for your topic and also sings with some excitement for you and your students.
- What could the students create that makes sense given the time, resources, and topic? Ad campaigns, videos, slideshows, podcasts, etc. all make sense.
- Remember to leverage the Group Task so that all roles are required and the outcome must transform information into new understanding.
- You might consider the Thesis Builder – to generate thesis statements and essay outlines
- A WebQuest is guided by a big question – this empowers students to discover their own path through the topic and connect the new learning to what they already know.
Collaborative Checkpoints: add your milestones – Questions, Roles, Tasks, etc.
You’re Ready to Go!
Use the above process to draft together what could become a great WebQuest. Use your favorite platform like WordPress to develop the WebQuest and tap into all the great Web tools you love to flatten the learning hierarchy so that you can join in on the learning fun and role-model the joy of learning for your students.
If you want to use this approach (or begin a new blog for a WebQuest) you might want to copy/paste this template into a Page on your blog.
- Detailed Process for Drafting a WebQuest (doc)
- Tom’s Current WebQuest 2.0 Process (pdf)
- Use the article above and the Designing a WebQuest 2.0 (doc) and the links below as a guide.
- Freedom Fighter or Terrorist Group Scaffold Sheet (you can modify)