Sunday, August 16, 2009

WebQuests

The WebQuest was first formulated, designed and used by Professor Bernie Dodge and Tim March in 1995. They designed the WebQuest to be a “scaffolded learning structure” that links resources from the internet to an authentic task by using the investigation of an open-ended question that motivates students. According to these two men the key attributes of a WebQuest, is to combine authentic tasks using Internet resources to develop the critical thinking skills of our students (March, 2004). A real WebQuest, designed in an inquiry-oriented lesson format, requires the higher order thinking skills of synthesis, analysis, problem-solving, creativity and judgment, not simply summarizing. (Dodge, 2007). A good WebQuest has authentic context and problem or task.

Before designing, creating or using a pre-existing WebQuest, it is important to address a key issue. Does the WebQuest address the Key Learning Areas (KLA’s) of the Essential Learnings? As we all know, the Essential Learnings identifies what should be taught and what is important for students to have the opportunity to know, understand and be able to do (Queensland Studies Authority, 2009).
Siemens (2004) in his article, Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age believes that learning is a process of connecting through the specialized nodes of information sources and non-human appliances. He also states that having the capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known. This for me sums up the “scaffolded learning structure” of the WebQuest.

Last year I had the opportunity to create a Webquest, which was an assessment piece for the subject, “Teaching about the Living World”. While daunting at first, achieving something this technological in my first year at University was certainly an achievement. Just think how good our assessment pieces would have been with the knowledge that we know now, thanks to E-Learning.

I have included the link to Tom March’s website:
The Learning Power of WebQuests

References:

Dodge, B. (2007). WebQuest.org. Retrieved 16th August, 2009, from http://webquest.org/index.php

March, T. (2004).What WebQuests Are (Really). Retrieved August 14, 2009, from
http://bestwebquests.com/what_webquests_are.asp

Queensland Studies Authority. (2009). Essential learnings. Retrieved 16th August, 2009, from http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/learning/7261.html

2 comments:

  1. Hello rondyroo,

    I just love WeQuests. I have to agree with you that creating our first one last year was extremely daunting! I had many moments were i thought i would not make it, but i did. We all made it and did a great job i might add.

    When i search on the web for different WebQuests i now look at them in a different light. Before it was just,'mmm that ones pretty cool' however now i say 'mmm that ones covers a substantial amount of the curriculum'. It is amazing how we are grasping onto this new and exciting world so quickly.

    All the best with your blog, it is looking great.
    Kerri : )

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  2. H i Rhonda,

    I agree with Kerri, When first investigating webquest last year before construction of our own, I was drawn to pretty ones with animations. Now I look for the Quests with the most appropriate information and that are formatted correctly.

    I actually think that some of the webquests we constructed would give the online ones a run for their money.

    Kellie

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