Building an Online Learning Environment Using WebQuests
A WebQuest: An Inquiry Activity to Enhance Student
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the
that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet. A learner
analyze a body of knowledge found on the Web, transform it in some way,
demonstrate an understanding of the material by creating something that
can respond to on- or off-line. It represents a new teaching paradigm created
Bernie Dodge, Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State
The MERLOT free and open resource at www.merlot.org links to online
learning materials that are collected along with annotations, such as peer
and assignments. Bernie Dodge's WebQuest site is linked on the MERLOT
collection so you can have easy access to contact information.
A WebQuest is a type of online learning assignment that requires learners
the Internet to locate, analyze it, and synthesize information. There are
of WebQuests: short-term and long-term.
In a short-term WebQuest, the instructional goal is simply knowledge acquisition
and integration. Each student obtains and processes a significant amount
information from the Web and in-school materials and makes sense of it
by creating Web pages.
In a long-term WebQuest, the instructional goal increases one level, challenging
students to extend and refine the knowledge they find online and in the
Each student deeply analyzes a body of knowledge, integrates it into their
knowledge base, and demonstrates their understanding by presenting it to
class in the form of Web pages. Long-term WebQuests can take weeks or
months to complete.
Your task is to design and develop an effecitve WebQuest online learning
assignment for your students. To develop effective WebQuests, you need
develop a thorough understanding of the different possibilities open to
you as you
create web-based lessons. One way for you to understand how to develop
effective WebQuest assignment is to complete the following tasks.
analyze critically a number of webquest examples and discuss them
from multiple perspectives,
review some WebQuest training materials on the Web,
define the specific components of an effective WebQuest,
design your own WebQuest,
share your online WebQuest assignment with others for their feedback.
- Your first step in creating a WebQuest of your own should be to review
a few examples of successful ones with your colleagues. Find two other
colleagues who will work with you to create a collaborative team to complete
the process detailed below.
To begin your WebQuest, link to the WebQuest about WebQuests site
listed below and complete the task detailed there. Be sure to select a
recorder from the members of your group. Record your group's respones
to the task detailed in the WebQuest about WebQuests located at
Next, visit the Introduction to Web Based Learning site and review the
contents as a team. Discuss what you agree and disagree with in the
contents on the site.
As a team, define in writing the Building Blocks of a WebQuest after
reviewing the site.
Now each member of the team choose a topic for your WebQuest after
reviewing the site and discussing your topic ideas with your team.
Finally, complete a flowchart of your WebQuest that you will be
developing on your topic for your students.
Share your flowchart with your group members for their feedback.
Relevant Internet Resources
Your completed WebQuest will be evaulated using the following criteria
focus on quality of content, usefulness as a teaching/learning tool, ease
organization, and mechanics:
The WebQuest explores valid concepts, models, and skills by specially and
thoroughly developing the content to meet the requirements specified.
The WebQuest can be readily integrated into current curriclum and pedagogy
within the displine.
The WebQuest is easy to navigate.
The WebQuest is effectively organized, coherent, and flows smoothly.
The content in the WebQuest conforms to the rules of standard English.
- Take five minutes to jot down the conclusions you have drawn about
using such an inquiry method in one of your classes. Share what you wrote
with your colleagues in your group.