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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


WebQuest Page

by Bernie Dodge
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 12, 2003 by Teacher Education
Overview: This site is the official home of WebQuests. According to the author of the
site, Bernie Dodge, ?A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some
or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on
the internet?.
Learning Goals: To learn about and be able to develop WebQuests.
Target Student Population: University faculty, K-12 faculty, and preservice teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A basic understanding of instructional planning and evaluation.
Type of Material: Tutorial and Resource
Recommended Uses: This site can be used by a professor to develop WebQuests for a variety of
classes and by students to learn how to develop their own WebQuests.
Technical Requirements: Internet connection and browser.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site provides a variety of instructional resources for learning how to use
and/or construct your own WebQuest. These resources include text descriptions
and PowerPoint presentations. The site also provides templates and concrete
examples of WebQuests for K to 12 students and adult learners. In addition,
there are numerous links to other resources that can help when developing
WebQuests. The materials are clearly written and provide excellent detail about
the development and use of WebQuests. There are appropriate references
supporting the development and use of WebQuests. In addition, the materials
provide concrete examples.
Concerns: None noted.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: WebQuests are a very powerful inquiry-oriented activity. The variety of
materials is excellent. Also the flexibility of use is inherent in what is
available. Instructors can use the materials to develop their own
WebQuests, teach students how to design WebQuests, and for other
purposes. For example, the explanations and links to Rubric development could be
used separately in a Classroom Assessment Course.
Concerns: None noted.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The initial navigation within this site is very straight forward, as the opening
(home) page for The WebQuest Page, is actually a site map with clear links to
the following major sections: Overview and FAQs, Fan Mail & Awards, Community,
Training Materials, Search, What?s New?, and Examples. There are also links back
to the home page (site map) from each of these major sections.

There is a Search Engine for the site which makes it very easy to find specific
resources or pages. The content for the site is easy to read and understand as a
clear and consistent organizational template has been applied to each page.
Concerns: While the overall navigation system and structure for this site is good, a bit
of ?tweaking? would increase the usability for both students and faculty. See
some suggestions for improving navigation below below.

Other Issues and Comments: For example, all the major section links from the home page could go to a ?stand

alone? page with a clear link back to ?home?. At the moment all of them do with
the exception of the Fan Mail and Awards section, which appears in a ?pop-up?
window. And, from these major section pages all the corresponding links could
appear in ?pop-up? windows, which the user simply closes when finished,
returning to the section menu page. Presently, some of these corresponding
links open in ?pop-up? windows and some open in ?stand alone? windows which
creates some navigational confusion for the user (e.g. Reading and Training
Materials Section - A Roadmap for Developing WebQuests opens in a ?pop-up?
window while Some Thoughts About WebQuests opens in a ?stand alone? window).
Comments from Author: Bernie Dodge is in the process of updating the navigational system on his site and continues to add functionality and content to the WebQuest Page.