Learning with WebQuests

ITO Activity

A WebQuest Exploring Transformative Thinking in WebQuests

Introduction | Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion | HyperText Dictionary


Professor Bernie Dodge from San Diego State University has prepared an online presentation entitled Active Learning on the Web in which he makes a case for looking at three main components of an active learning experience: inputs, transformations, and outcomes. The following Web page will give you a chance to work with this perspective in a hands-on activity.

The Task

So what about this I-T-O business? How does it work in real Web pages? What are some of the variations people try? How could it be used with your students? These are questions you will encounter as you and a group of teammates explore a handful of WebQuests. Specifically, your task is to analyze an actual WebQuest to see how it handles the Input, Transformation, and outcome triumvirate. You will work as part of a team and report out your findings.

The Process and Resources

Step 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

First, everyone has had a chance to listen to Bernie's presentation and probably has an overall idea of what's going on. Next you will look more closely - and from a specific perspective - at online WebQuests. Here are the exact instructions:

Step 2 - Looking Deeper: Different Perspectives on the Topic


  1. Divide into five groups. Each group will be assigned one of five WebQuests.

  2. Each group of five will subdivide by 3 (2 pairs and a solo person, probably). The subgroups will take on the following perspectives:

    • 1st pair = Input Team
    • 2nd pair = Transformation Team
    • Solo = Outcomes and Revisions

  3. Review the list under your heading below:

Inputs Transformations Outcomes


  • references, articles
  • images, sounds
  • news reports, press releases
  • experts
  • dynamic data sources
  • project / field reports
  • comparison / contrast
  • concept creation
  • analysis
  • synthesis
  • evaluation
  • problem solving
  • decision making
  • policy formation
  • oral presentations
  • written reports, letters, etc.
  • creative writing
  • videoconferencing
  • audioconferencing
  • Web publishing
    1. Use the blank matrix to list what you've found. (Write down your answers because you will be responsible for teaching your teammates.)

    The WebQuest You Analyzed: ____________________________
    Inputs Transformations Outcomes


    1. Once your team has explored the WebQuest, anyone on the team should be able to answer any of the questions:

      • What people, documents, data, and other resources will the students have access to?

      • What actions will the student perform while working with the information?

      • What will the students produce?

    Conclusion: Putting it All Together

    In order to share our learning, each group will answer the following two questions:

    1. In one sentence, what was the basic premise / task presented by the WebQuest your team analyzed?

    2. Also in one sentence, could you use a variation of the WebQuest you analyzed? If not, how would you have to change it to make it work for your learners?
    Originally created June, 1997