What is a WebQuest?
"A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which students interact with information gleaned primarily from the Internet..." Bernie Dodge, 1997
The concept of a WebQuest was originally developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University. The basic idea is this: A web site is created which guides students through a problem-solving activity. The web site starts with an interesting introduction, explains the overall problem to be solved, describes the specific tasks that students must complete, and provides detailed instructions for how to accomplish the tasks, including links to Internet resources needed to solve the problem.
Click here to see an HTML version of a slide show explaining the details of a WebQuest
The slide show will open in a separate window. Just close the window to return to this page.
(this presentation is modified from ideas from The WebQuest Page and Kathy Schrock's work)
If you would like to read a recently published article (or two) about WebQuests, check out these resources:
Using WebQuests in your Classroom (published on the Link2Learn Professional Development site):
The Student WebQuest (published in Learning and Leading with Technology):
If you would like to read a brief description of a possible WebQuest, to get the feel for a complete project, read the text below:
A teacher is interested in enhancing a unit on food webs and ecology. She designs a WebQuest that presents this problem (a real problem in the Warrensburg community):
A local city lake has recently turned very murky, with numerous fish die-offs. Conservation agents have suggested that this is due to large quantities of waste from the domestic ducks and geese residing at the lake.
The task (problem) presented by the WebQuest is to design a solution: remove the resident birds (not a popular decision with residents), install a large filter (very expensive), or any of several other possibilities. Using a "mini-lab" of six Internet-connected computers, students work in groups representing roles, such as scientist, city council, residents living near the lake, etc. They will contact adult experts that represent the role they have selected and ask them several questions by email. They then use the links on the WebQuest web site created by their teacher to access high quality web resources that provide current information on the various aspects of this topic, such as lake ecology, impacts of domestic waterfowl on water quality, companies that produce water filters, etc.
This "guided" research allows them to take advantage of the wealth of the Internet, without wasting time with aimless browsing. After conducting research of web-based resources, student groups will generate possible solutions based on their assumed roles. They will email their solution to their adult partners, who will provide expert feedback. In a class seminar, each group will present their proposed solution, then class discussion will lead to creation of a single unified solution.
This solution could then be presented to the Warrensburg City Council as a possible solution to a real-world problem, or it could be emailed to their adult partners for critical feedback.
For additional resources and information related to WebQuests, visit Bernie Dodge's WebQuest Page, or Tom March's Ozline WebQuest Site.