Assessing Best WebQuests

We use this evaluation matrix / rubric to assess WebQuests

Low Medium High
Engaging Opening No attempt made to appeal to learners. Honestly attempts to appeal to student interests. Has that something that compels attention.
The Question / Task

Fuzzy Question or Task. Maybe what’s asked for is lower level thinking. The Question and Task target higher order thinking, but may not be totally clear. Clear Question and Task. These naturally flow from the introduction and signal a direction for sophisticated learning.
Background for Everyone
No attempt to access prior learning or build common background. Some mention of addressing a common body of knowledge. (May not happen within the activity.) Clearly calls attention to the need for a common foundation of knowledge and provides needed (Web?) resources.
Roles / Expertise

Roles are artificial and may lack inherent conflicts of interest. Roles are clear and realistic. They may be limited in scope, but do evoke conflict. Roles match the issues and resources. The roles provide multiple perspectives from which to view the topic.
Use of the Web

This activity could probably be done better without the Web. Some resources reflect features of the Web that make it particularly useful. Uses the Web to access at least some of the following: interactivity, multiple perspectives, current information, etc.
Transformative Thinking
No Transformative thinking. (This is not a WebQuest, but may be a good Knowledge Hunt). Higher level thinking is required, but the process for students may not be clear. Higher level thinking is required to construct new meaning. Scaffolding is provided to support student achievement.
Real World Feedback
No feedback loop included. The learning product could easily be used for authentic assessment although this may not be addressed. A feedback loop is included in the Web page and an evaluation rubric is probably provided (early on!).

Minimal conclusion. No mention of student thinking or symmetry to intro. Returns to the intro ideas. May sum up the experiences and learning that was undertaken. Clear tie-in to the intro. Makes the students’ cognitive tasks overt and suggests how this learning could transfer to other domains/issues.


Note – Values in the assessment matrix are:

  • low = 1 each
  • medium = 2 each
  • high = 3 each

12 – 15 = ***

16 – 19 = ****

20 – 24 = *****


4 thoughts on “Assessing Best WebQuests”

  1. Hello Tom,
    I’m referring to your evaluation matrix in my master thesis. When did you publish it on your site?

    Thanxs a lot & kind regards,

  2. Thanks for this rubric – if only all WebQuests could be excellent on all these criteria! I have borrowed it for my Masters students to evaluate a set of WebQuests for TESOL found on the Quest Garden. I wonder how many will match up?

    • Hi Tilly, It’s important to keep the bar high (on transformation of information into understanding) or online activities simply descend into mindless copy/paste. Good on you! Tom


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