|So you wanna build a WebQuest, huh?
|A WebQuest, WebQuest
Information Compiled By Genji Bailey
Last Updated 10.21.09
What in the HECK is a WebQuest? It sounds WEIRD!
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed
by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in February, 1995 with early input from SDSU/Pacific Bell Fellow Tom March, the Educational Technology
staff at San Diego Unified School District, and waves of participants each summer at the Teach the Teachers Consortium. http://webquest.org/index.php
How can I incorporate a WebQuest into my existing units, and why should I?
I have personally found that WebQuests work very well both as introductions to a unit, or as a bridge for cross-curriculum teaching/learning. They provide
a depth of inquiry with a technology slant that I have not experienced elsewhere, and can be used by individual students in a computer lab, groups of
students in a computer lab, individual students at home, by students in ASP, or by a whole class in the classroom. The nice thing about WebQuests is that
they can be long and involved, or short and fun, and can be adjusted at any time, by you!
So what’s involved? How do I do it? And, isn’t building a WebQuest a lot of work?
There are a myriad of different ways to build a web based inquiry unit, but the WebQuest is the more efficient use of your time and your classroom time.
Yes, there is a fair amount of upfront work, but once it is completed, you simply add it to your Teacher Web Page, tweak the parts that need adjustment as
you teach the unit or make adjustments to your plans, and it can serve you for years to come.
Alright, now I am intrigued, but what do I have to do?
A WebQuest consists of:
1. The Introduction - An engaging first statement that draws the reader in while setting the stage for the WebQuest.
Includes the guiding or central question around which the WebQuest revolves.
2. The Task - A description of the end result of the students' work; the culminating performance or product that drives all the activities
of the lesson.
3. The Process - Describes step by step how the learners will accomplish the task. Includes online (and offline) resources, role descriptions
(if any), and guidance on individual steps in the process.
4. The Conclusion - Final statement that may include reflections on the lesson or extensions of the content for further exploration.
5. The Evaluation - A rubric or other means to evaluate the final task. Rubrics or tests to measure competencies or accomplishment of
6. The Credits - Description of sources used in the creation of the WebQuest, acknowledgement of help received, etc.
7. And maybe these Options – a page that includes teacher information for teaching the lesson (so you don’t forget over the summer),
special needs learners adjustments, applicable Standards, Kentucky Core Content, or other such housekeeping info
that you might need to access at a moment’s notice.
Today we will build a WebQuest. Woo hoo!
To begin, please find another teacher to work with, preferably one in the same field as you, or with whom you work on cross-curriculum teaching and
learning, so you can both use the Quest once it is complete.
You will be creating a product and saving it to your webpage for use in your classroom.
Formative assessment: Lists, word documents
Summative Assessment: Completed and functional uploaded WebQuest
(Obviously, I am kidding, but this is where you might want to put this type of info for students.)
Part 1 -
1) OPEN Microsoft Word, and create a New Document. Save it as WEBQUEST.
2) Now, BRAINSTORM! Think about and jot down notes on what you want you and your partner want your students to learn, lessons that could use
more background or depth-of-knowledge, or that use a lot of web based information that you could gather all into one place. Once your list is complete,
move to step 2.
3) INVESTIGATE. Look through your list, note the topics you have listed that do or could require hands-on learning for understanding, could make
good use of the myriad of sources on the Internet, fit curriculum standards, and have possibly been difficult to teach well in the past, and
CLICK ON THIS LINK: http://webquest.org/search/
4) LOOK THROUGH SOME EXISTING WEBQUESTS. Begin searching for the topics you have listed, as well as associated topics that might lead you
in new directions in your units or lessons. HAVE FUN and look through some of the WebQuests others have put together! Also, in your open Microsoft
Word document, RECORD THE URLs OF YOUR FAVORITE WEBQUESTS, for later reference.
These are links to a WebQuest I use when I can get my classes into the library for an extended time to work as a team,
and the modified version for when I need them to work on it individually.
Part 2 -
You have undoubtedly found several WebQuests, that you think are cool – combined, they have everything: snazzy pictures, fun tasks, interesting topics,
and they suit your teaching style. Oh how you wish you could put all that good stuff into one Quest to use in your classroom! So why don’t you?
LET’S DO IT!!! Here’s how:
1) COPY AND PASTE the parts of the different Quests you like onto your Word Document, “WebQuest.” Don’t worry about what order they are in right
now, just get all that good stuff in one place and SAVE it!
2) Then, open another Microsoft Word Document and name it whatever the name of YOUR WebQuest will be, or if you can’t think of anything, just name
it WEBQUEST2. In this document, you are going to ORGANIZE, FILTER, ADD TO, and ENHANSE the parts of other teacher’s WebQuests that you
borrowing for yours and bringing to life in a different incarnation. You are building the FrankenTeacher’s Monster WebQuest – moooo haaa haa! (evil
laugh, get it?)
3) Now, organize! Begin by EVALUATING the information you have for your Quest based on the WebQuest Outline above:
Introduction, Task, Process, Conclusion, Evaluation, Credits
What do you have? What do you need?
4) IDENTIFY WHAT IS MISSING and add it to your document. This is an ongoing process, so you may need to do further research or thinking on each
one of the segments. In other words, don’t freak if you don’t get this part done right now. Just keep thinking about it and adding to it as you have
5) ADD ENHANSEMENTS. Once you have the bare bones, the frame and drywall of your WebQuest “Home”, you can start adding the fun stuff – It’s
a. Create a list of links (this is a necessary part of a WebQuest because you are directing students in the directions you want them to go,
and lists of links will help them focus on the subject instead of getting bogged down in time wasted searching.
Here are your links for this quest:
1. http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/ - make puzzles
2. http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/staffdev/sdcuegraphics/hotlist.htm - free graphics
3. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webquest/ - teachers talk about webquests
4. http://www.quicktopic.com/ - talk about stuff
5. http://www.google.com/advanced_search - search tool
6. http://www.backflip.com/login.ihtml - store URLS free
7. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/processguides/index.htm - info guide for students
8. http://www.theeducatorsnetwork.com/utt/rubricsgeneral.htm - rubrics
9. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/LessonTemplate.html - webquest templates
10. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/designpatterns/all.htm - web quest design idea URLs
11. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/searching/specialized.html - directories for educators
12. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/processchecker.html - process checklist
13. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/finepoints/ tweeking
b. Add photos. The nature of a WebQuest is that it is visually appealing and stimulating. It is a chance for you to use all those cool photos
that you always want to show, so do it! Enhance the understanding of those young minds!
c. Add graphics and play with text sizes, font types, and colors. Make your WebQuest a decorative “Blast from the Past” or “Futurama”, a
“Tarzan’s Tree House” or “As Seen From A Mole’s View Point.” Pull those
students in! Make it memorable! And, let it speak to your personality and topic.
d. Bulk it up by adding:
1. your Rubric(s)
2. Self-Check Quizzes
3. a link to your school e-mail for them to submit their work or ask questions:
4. a time table for completion
5. a check list
6. PDF format files of examples: Link to my Poetry Journal
7. notes to enhance understanding
8. links to things like citation machine websites or dictionaries that will help them complete their work in a more efficient
and professional manner: www.citationmachine.net
9. links to audio or video clips to enhance understanding and depth of knowledge
10. PowerPoints you have used in the past for them to go through on their own:
Link to my PowerPoint on King Arthur
Building a WebQuest is a rather involved process, but it is not difficult. The major advantage of this unit/lesson format is that you can pop it on your
Teacher Web Page and keep it for years to come, not to mention that it is a technological addition to your lesson plans, and a fun and engaging change of
pace for your students. With just the click of a mouse, your lesson it available to you and your students, at school, at home, or in ASP, and once the
WebQuest is done, tweaking every so often is all it takes to keep it up to date and fresh for everyone.
http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/staffdev/tpss99/anatomy.htm - anatomy of a webquest
http://webquest.sdsu.edu/Process/WebQuestDesignProcess.html - design process
http://webquest.org/ - the Origional WebQuest webpage
http://webquest.org/search/ - webquest portal – search for webquests