A WebQuest may be defined as an inquiry-based activity in which most or all of the information is accessed by the learners over the Internet (Milson & Downey, 2001). The teacher must identify appropriate content tailored towards the learning tasks and make a web page that is used by learners to work their way through five stages: Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation and Conclusion.
WebQuests are designed as a form of inquiry-based learning. WebQuests provide students with a problem in which they are required to solve. Students then need to work their way through the WebQuest while deciding on what information would be most useful in solving their problem. There are many resources embedded throughout the WebQuest, however students can use the teacher as a resource and have the ability to gather data individually or in small groups (Marsh, 2008).
This form of instructional design assists students in developing higher-order thinking and can engage students in collaborative learning (Marsh, 2008). When engaged in this type of activity students can be highly motivated to examine novel problems and formulate possible solutions (Killen, 2006).
In a previous course of study I designed a WebQuest for a grade 3/4 class. The topic was on recycling, with a opened ended focus question. It was a very time consuming process, although I was very pleased with the end result and now how it on file for future use. The students found it very easy to follow and loved all the interactive activities. They formed small groups to work on the WebQuest and I developed a roster for computer use. This solved our problem of having limited computers in the classroom. The end product was amazing and the students were engaged and enthusiastic about whole learning process.
WebQuest are a great learning tool and even though it can be a very time consuming process when you see the end result it all seems Worth the effort!
Killen, R. (2006) Effective Teaching Strategies. Thomson, Melbourne.
Marsh, C. (5th Ed.) (2008). Studies of Society and Environment, Exploring the Teaching Possibilities. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education
Milson, A. & Downey, P. (2001). Webquest: using Internet resources for cooperative inquiry. Social Education. 65, 3, 144-46.