a WebQuest about understanding the WebQuest strategyUpdated in April 2020
Introduction | Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion
IntroductionWebQuests use cool Internet resources to spur students on to authentic learning. Because you are going to create your own WebQuest, it makes sense for us to practice working through the design process to make sure we all "Get" WebQuests.
Objective for this exercise:
Given compelling Web resources, you will be able to:
that could be used in an actual WebQuest.
- Identify a topic / curricular subject area
- Define a Task / Big Quest(ion)
- Brainstorm some activities
The Process and Resources
Step 1 - Background for Everyone
You can choose to read, explore or watch videos to get a feel for what WebQuests are. This part of the activity might be best done as preparation / homework so you can take as much time as you like. It might be a good idea to take notes and jots any questions you have to contribute to a leter discussion.
- The Learning Power of WebQuests - republished article from Educational Leadership
- What WebQuests Are (Really) - the unabridged version of the ASCD article above.
- The Big Wide World WebQuest (Upper Primary science and humanities) - video intro
- "Some Crazy Cliff" - The Catcher in the Rye WebQuest (Secondary English) - video intro
- Freedom Fighter or Terrorist? (Secondary history, current events, humanities) - video intro in the longer video below.
- The Parts (& Why) of a WebQuest - Longer Video with short intros to some WebQuest sample
Step 2 - Looking Deeper: Different Perspectives on the Topic
Divide into groups of 4 people. Within your group, count off by 4.
Take 10 minutes to explore the link below that corresponds to your number:
- The U.S. National Debt Clock
- The Fiscal Ship - see a video for how to play or The Federal Budget Challenge
- How to contact your US representatives in the House and Senate
- The Penny Game - from The Concord Coalition
Take 15 minutes to answer the following questions:
(Note: example answers follow each question below based upon the WebQuest The Tuskegee Tragedy)
- What would be a broad topic of study or content area you could use this link with? (Tip: think about main units in the courses offered in your school's curriculum.)
Social Studies (20th Century History, Black History) or English Language Arts (Controversial Issue essay) are two examples.
- What would be a good overall Task or Big Quest(tion) you could pose students relating to the general topic?
"Is the Tuskegee Study unique or are the same kind of tragedies happening all around us?"
- Brainstorm what activities you might ask students to do with the link you analyzed. Create a short list of instructions that prompt students through using the Website to transform information into learning.
From the Role of Reporter
Your main task is to look at the Tuskegee Study from the viewpoint of a newspaper reporter. Most importantly, your team is relying on you to be an expert on the facts and details involved in the study. Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions:
- What was the purpose of the study?
- What reason were the men given for the tests and treatment they received?
- What was the attitude of the men to the doctors?
- What important discovery took place that the doctors did not tell the men about?
- If you were writing the lead story on the Tuskegee Study, what would you focus on, what would be your angle?
Gather with your group of four and compare notes. Your job now is to come to a group "answer" to the above three questions. Do this in three steps:
You know how on cooking shows the chef spends most of the show preparing the dish and then in the last minutes, voila, she or he pulls an aromatically steaming tray from the oven? Magically, all that preparation emerges as a finished product!
To get a taste of how Web sites like you've analyzed can actually used in a WebQuest, click on the asterisk in the heading above to "open the oven."Note: The links used in this "Getting WebQuests" activity have been updated, however, the links in the actual WebQuest are over 15 years old so many are broken. I keep the site online as an example. If you are interested in using it with students, please make contact and I'll see what can be done. There are great, more interactive and video-based resources that could be used.
Updated 15 April, 2020 © 2020 Tom March