Table of Contents
What Are Webquests?
The Best of iwebquest.com's Webquests
What Are Webquests?
Webquests have a fancy name that is catchy but beneath the name there
is something simple that we can all understand. Simply put, Webquests are
a really good lesson plan or curriculum unit that utilizes resources from
the Internet. That's really exciting because developing creative
lessons are what us teachers are really great at. O.K. ,
Webquests are just a little more complicated than a lesson plan or unit
plan. Webquests strive to get kids thinking at a higher level by asking
students an essential question, providing opportunities for kids to
explore further, and then getting kids to apply their knowledge with a
hands-on activity. I will explain further by discussing each
part of a Webquest and then providing an example of that part.
At the heart of every webquest is an open-ended
question. The question creates a clear purpose for the webquest,
inspires students to access prior knowledge, and creates a level of
excitement that motivates students to explore further.
Can students in elementary and middle school think at a higher level where
they not only research but apply their new knowledge? The Task
Section of a Webquest provides a "scaffolding" to lead
students through the kind of thinking process that more expert learners
use. "Scaffolding" means breaking the daunting
project into smaller pieces so students can work on specific sub-tasks
that will lead them through the difficult steps of researching and then
applying their knowledge.
Stay on Task:
In a Webquest the teacher creates links to other Internet sites. I
usually create a Hot List to share these resources. These Online
Resources come in varying forms (web sites, online journals, virtual
tours, message boards, and e-mail.) These sites provide quality,
current information. Excitement is created with stimulating graphics and
interactive features. By utilizing a variety of Internet resources a
webquest provides information for all students- no matter their learning
level or learning style. Also, webquests provide
easy access to Offline
Resources such as Children's literature, CD-ROM's, magazines,
field trips, guest speakers... I usually use a bibliography to provide
Note: Webquest Resources provide easy access to quality
information. This allows students to no longer focus on gathering
information. Now, students can spend more time interpreting
and analyzing the information.
The focus of a webquest is to get students to apply their knowledge to
constructively solve authentic problems. The culminating
activity of a Webquest provides the guidelines for this higher level
thinking. The culminating activity can range from creating a Hollywood
Presentation, e-mailing an expert in the field, hands-on (offline)
activity, to students creating their own web page.
When using a webquest, students are asked think at a higher level. It is
important teachers effectively evaluate student's hard work. Many
Webquests provide rubrics
to clearly define how a student’s work will be assessed. Rubrics
also provide an opportunity for students and teachers to reflect on their
Here are some great sites to get further information about webquests:
Blocks of a Webquest Bernie Dodge outlines an easy way to
understand the components of a Webquest: Introduction, Task, Process,
Why Webquests? An
Introduction This introduction by Tom March was written
for a series of Webquests to be developed by Teacher Created Materials. If
you are new to Quests, this is an excellent place to start.
Student Webquest Maureen Yoder details the history and
development of Webquests and how to make the best use of them.
Shrock's Webquest Page Kathy Shrock has developed a
16-slide PowerPoint presentation based on the information found at Mr.
Dodge's site. (Also available as a PDF
file.) For clarification and further explanation of a webquest.
assignment for the Web: To Become a Teaching Device A model
called Webquests asks students to solve real problems and answer questions
that they will face.
about Webquests Dr. Bernie Dodge and Tom March present a
comprehensive look at what a Webquest is and how to plan one.
The Best of
Responsible Use Policy
Ancient Egypt Webquest