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?.
Type of Material:
Tutorial and Resource
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.
Internet connection and browser.
Identify Major 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.
Evaluation and Observation
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.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
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.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
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.
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.