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