WebQuest 101 Part 1 -- What is a WebQuest?

Uses for WebQuests

From UW-Whitewater, Learning Technology Center

So named because of their resemblance to a treasure or scavenger hunt, a "WebQuest" is a type of lesson model using the Internet which encourages learners to use a variety of provided resource links to perform a given task. The term was coined by Bernie Dodge and Tom March of San Diego University in 1995. Dodge and March define a WebQuest as "an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet."

Instructionally speaking, the goal of a WebQuest is to help the learner sort, digest, and better understand a given resource or group of resources. By "sifting" through the given resources in pursuit of a particular goal, learners assimilate information and then apply it toward specific goals. A WebQuest is also an excellent way to familiarize learners with the usage and breadth of Web-based and other Internet resources in a goal-oriented manner.

In his essay "Some Thoughts About WebQuests," Dodge indicates that there are two levels of WebQuest: short-term and long-term (full article at: http://webquest.sdsu.edu/about_webquests.html).

Short-term WebQuests are, as their name implies, designed to be completed in a brief amount of time. They serve best as an introduction to new material or a shallow overview of a large body of resources. Use short-term WebQuests for:
  • Introducing a new concept or focus of study to learners
  • Familiarizing learners with Internet resources
  • Review of material covered in a previous course or prerequisite
  • A few external links and a brief reflection
  • Exam review
  • Exploratory activities
Long-term WebQuests are not as much activities but larger projects. After a long-term WebQuest, a learner should have digested and compared the information in a wide variety of resources, going more in-depth than the 'summary' most short-term WebQuests ask for. At the end of a long-term quest, learners typically create an artifact of some form, be it an essay, project, multiple essay questions, or other assignment that the instructor can use to gauge their assimilation of the material. Use long-term WebQuests for:
  • Specific topics within a broader context
  • Final projects
  • In-depth examination of a particular concept or focus of study
  • Summative assessment for a significant grade

Steps to Design a WebQuest

  • Choose a Topic
  • Choose a Task
  • Design the Evaluation
  • Develop the Process
  • Refine the Aesthetics and Finish the Details

Review the "WebQuest Design Map" for more detailed information about each step of the process:. http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/staffdev/tpss99/mywebquest/myfiles/map.htm


Template - From University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Learning Technology Center

To use this template: Please download the template (.zip file) and save it to your computer.  Do not unzip the files. In your D2L course, go to "Edit Course" and select Import/Export/Copy Components > Import Components.  Browse for the .zip file on your computer and follow the prompts in D2L to add the files to your Content area.  To edit the WebQuest, use the Edit feature in D2L and start by editing the "WebQuest Template" page and then work through the other pages (tasks, process, assessment/grading, conclusion, credits/reference) using the Edit feature. To publish the WebQuest, keep the first page (WebQuest Template) open and keep the others hidden, as defaulted.  Students will use the links at the bottom of the pages to navigate the WebQuests. The only page that should be visible to students is the "WebQuest Template" page. Click HERE to view a short tutorial (with audio) about how to use this template. 


WebQuest Design Patterns - http://webquest.sdsu.edu/designpatterns/all.htm
This website has a list of various types of WebQuests along with examples. 

Some Thoughts About WebQuests
by Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University -- http://webquest.sdsu.edu/about_webquests.html
This article defines various terms associated with WebQuests.

Wikipedia: How to Develop a WebQuest
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebQuest#How_to_develop_a_WebQuest