Tom March develops WebQuests & Learning Activities

Tom March & Bernie Dodge at NECC 2005

Bernie Dodge and Tom March have been working since early 1995 to develop the WebQuest as one strategy for effectively integrating the Web into classroom instruction. This page gathers Tom’s work in creating and teaching WebQuests.

Look to Bernie’s The WebQuest Page for a huge selection of WebQuest links and materials.

Click on the Writings menu to stay up on the latest thinking about WebQuests and Working the Web for Education.
To browse the only truly refereed WebQuest collection, go to BestWebQuests.com. Don’t miss the most complete definition of “What WebQuests Are (Really)“.

To see where WebQuests go in a Web 2.0 World, take a look at the article Revisiting WebQuests in a Web 2 World (2007).

WebQuests 2.0

Everything WebQuest!

You'd better do these things...
Education has changed a bit since slates and slide rules … the WebQuest strategy provides a scaffolded process to help both students and teachers integrate the Web in a way that makes sense for the New WWW. This is because WebQuests are one classroom activity that integrates the power of the Web with sound learning theory & instructional design methods. For more insights on this, read Tom’s Why WebQuests? Before going further on WebQuests, realize that these are challenging activities for both teachers to make and students to participate in. If either are new to the Web, try a self assessment using The 10 Stages of Web-Use Nirvana. Then read Working the Web for Education to explore other strategies Web-based learning activities like Topic Hotlist, Subject Samplers, and Knowledge Hunts. We’ve found that using Subject Samplers that lead to a far-ranging class discussion of essential questions is often the best preparation for working with WebQuests.To find many examples of WebQuests (and some which aren’t) go to The WebQuest Page or the Filamentality Database. A first suggestion is to see if a WebQuest already exists on a topic you study. One idea is to approach these sites with the WebQuest Assessment Matrix as a guide.Once you’ve decided to create your own WebQuest, we suggest you use one of the interactive sites like Web-and-Flow or Filamentality. The latter is great for beginners while Web-and-Flow supports newcomers as well as old pros. If you learn best by reading, our WebQuest Design Process is the most detailed available on the Web. Feel free to turn to help pages like those on the Question / Task or picking links.
If you lead WebQuest training workshops, the WebQuest Pre-write form is usually a success.Finally, as you’re designing your WebQuest, test out your progress with the Designer’s Checklist. This could save time and heartache.

All resources below by Tom March
Working the Web for Education – the overview article
Why WebQuests? – an intro article.
“Getting” WebQuests – a training WebQuest
The Idea Machine – brainstorming tool
WebQuest Pre-Write – an interactive worksheet
Uncovering the Question / Task ideas & examples
Link Like You Mean it – tips on picking links
The WebQuest Design Process Three stages:
Exploring the Possibilities
Designing for Success
Creating Your WebQuest
Web-and-Flow Interactive the best WebQuest maker (integrates above process)
Quick & Dirty WebQuest maker
WebQuest Template – if HTML is your game
WebQuest Designer’s Checklist – self-check key elements
WebQuest Rubric – is it or is it ain’t a WebQuest?

WebQuests and other Student Activities

Since 1995 Tom March has created Web-based student activities for Pacific Bell’s Knowledge Network Explorer and other clients. The following is a comprehensive collection of these activities that students can use. The Bald Self-Promotions page lists user feedback on most of the sites below.

Blue Web’n Library of Educational Web Sites
The brainchild of Jodi Reed, Tom came up with the name, the matrix categories and contributes new sites periodically to the database.
With Jodi’s expert programming, Tom’s interface and activity formats came alive in this interactive site that prompts users to create their own Web-based activity page.
Eyes on Art
Updated from the original 1995 posting, Eyes on Art 2.0 builds on the learning-to-look curriculum of the original, but adds many interactive features. This is among the most linked to K-12 arts education activity sites.
Nonprofit Prophets
Nonprofit Prophets is a community action project that challenges groups of students to investigate a problem that they see in the world and then create a World Wide Web Resource page on the Internet that teaches the world about the problem. – major update 2003
Catcher in the Rye: Some Crazy Cliff
The 1950s form the backdrop of The Catcher in the Rye, yet most students aren’t familiar with this era that was so important to the Sixties that followed. Salinger, like many artists since, struggled to come to terms with a world that didn’t feel right or seem to understand him. This WebQuest immerses students in both the culture and the individuals who were forced to Fit-in, Break-out or Breakdown.
Crool Zone?
First launched in 2002, this series of activities is designed to help people explore ways to keep our school zones from being Crool Zones. Incorporating all six “Web-and-Flow Formats,” this series illustrates a method for integrating a range of learning activities suited to various learning needs. It also breaks ground with a new interactive “Unfolded WebQuest” (due in early 2003).
The Big Wide World WebQuest
Some people think elementary school students should be coloring inside the lines, circling words in a search, or copying sentences from the board. Maybe that’s okay, but we’d rather you figure out what life’s all about. You know, what about this earth we live on and share with all the other peoples, plants and animals? This WebQuest was designed to prompt K-3 students into higher-order thinking.
Six Paths to China
This series of six Web-based learning sites was used to develop the original notion of using different activity formats in order to achieve specific learning goals. This is where you’ll find the China on the Net Topic Hotlist, The Treasures of China Knowledge Hunt, My China Subject Sampler, the Exploring China Multimedia Scrapbook, and two WebQuests: Does the Tiger Eat her Cubs?, a short term WebQuest and the site listed below.
Searching for China
Searching for China was the first WebQuest ever published for general use. Tom work with Bernie Dodge for three years developing the WebQuest strategy. Searching for China is perhaps the architypal long-term WebQuest. This latest version uses interactive pages to facilitate the production of individual and group reports.
Black History Month Activities
A series of five Web-based activities, this site includes two WebQuests, a Subject Sampler, an interactive quiz, and a robust hotlist. Although incredibly popular each February, the WebQuests, The Tuskegee Tragedy and Little Rock 9, Integration 0?, investigate themes that demand ongoing critical evaluation throughout the year and curriculum.
Look Who’s Footing the Bill!
This WebQuest makes use of multiple perspectives and interactive Web sites to challenge students to make decisions about the national debt. This recently revised site also marks the first appearance of the QuickQuest option.
Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?
This WebQuest challenges students to define “terrorism” and to decide whether there is such a thing as a “just act” of terrorism. Student groups compare and contrast such cases as the Black Panthers, Nelson Mandela & the ANC, the Oklahoma Bombing, Eco-Terrorism, the State of Israel, Islamic Fundamentalists, and the US CIA.
Ewe 2: the bioethics of cloning
helping colleague Keith Nuthall apply the case study approach to WebQuests
Donner Online
originally using a HyperStudio stack to prompt higher order thinking

Other Tools, Tutorials, etc.

an interactive form to help students create thesis statements and outlines for a controversial issue essay.
The Idea Machine
an idea pool of 50 possible starting points for designing a curriculum unit.

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