Please note that the information contained below is taken from Ann Howden from UEN Professional Development at http://www.uen.org/.
A "real" web quest facilitates the transition from knowledge to understanding of a subject in the mind of a student. Tom March says this of a "real" web quest, "A WebQuest is a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students' investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests do this in a way that inspires students to see richer thematic relationships, facilitates a contribution to the real world or learning and reflect on their own metacognitive processess."
Okay, that was a HUGE mouthful. Here are 6 components of a webquest and sites on the web to hopefully break this process down into smaller bites:
- Introduction - Dangle a carrot in front of the student to "hook" their interest.
- Task - focus the learner and clearly describes essential questions & learning objectives
- Process-lays out individual action steps the student will take, the resources to be used and how the student should organize their data.
- Evaluation- Provide students with the rubric so they are aware of their responsibilities
- Conclusion- Bring closure to the webquest, encourages student reflection, assignments to complete and provides an extension activity as homework (optional)
- Teacher's Page- provides optional addition to a webquest, gives directions and guidelines to assist other teachers with wequest implementation and includes information about targeted learners, core standards, essential questions, lesson objectives and student work.
- http://www.QuestGarden.com -- build a quest in the "quest garden"
- http://webquest.sdsu.edu/ -- Example
- http://www.bestwequests.com/ -- Example
- http://www.teachersfirst.com/ -- Keyword search: webquest
The "Best" Web resources to use in your webquest:
- http://www.uen.org/k12educator/ -- Link Center / Curriculum Resources --Themepark, multimedia presentation resources for educators, Marco Polo, Pioneer Online Library and PBS teacher Source
- http://loc.gov/ - the Library of Congress
- Keep in mind: the webquest must link to resources that foster learning, analysis and evaluation. The best websites for student use are interactive, media-rich and "exciting"
Okay -- we are armed with knowledge --- let us go forth and conquer this Quest!