First Steps to Creating Webquests
Once you’ve decided to make your own webquest, the first step is to look at lots of samples. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to work through a few that are applicable to your curriculum and age group, and maybe even have your students try a few webquests on their own to see what they do well and what they need help with. It’s also important to have a clear idea of what skills you want to emphasize. Set some clear goals so that you know exactly what you want your students to accomplish. This road map will be a great beginning and will also ensure that your final product takes your students where you want them to go with their learning.
Use a Webquest Outline
A sound webquest has six parts. The first is an introduction that sets the scene for the learning. It should be captivating and intriguing, drawing students into the task. The second part of a good webquest is a clear description of the task at hand. Students will need to know exactly what finished product is expected of them and how it will be evaluated. A grading rubric is great to include in this section. The third part of the webquest is the procedural instructions. Your students will need this guidance to understand exactly how to proceed with their task. Next, your webquest should include a collection of resources or ideas about how to locate resources. Remember that these can be a mixture of print publications, internet information, and even people that can assist with the project. Students will use all of this information to create a finished product that demonstrates what they’ve learned within the parameters that you set in the beginning of the task. Finally, make sure that your webquest includes clear evaluation of the students’ work and an opportunity to reflect on the project as well as to create an avenue for additional explorations.
The Heart of the Webquest
The focus or task of the webquest is its heart. This is what must match up with your goals for the activity, and also where you ensure that your webquest targets the right level of thinking skills and complexity. With the right task, your webquest can range up into the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning and can activate higher level thinking skills. Bernie Dodge has created an outstanding list of tasks for webquests that are listed by the thinking skills involved at Webquest Taskonomy. You’ll want to visit the site to get some great ideas of possible tasks for the webquest you are creating.
Keep the Students Moving
Students often take on various roles as they work through a webquest, such as detective, journalist or scientist. You’ll need to craft a great list of resources that will help them create the final product that you’ve set for them. These can be links, resource people, magazine articles, references in books, and any other items that will help them gather the information they need to complete the project. Your webquest should contain a list of suggested resources or a suggested path to finding appropriate resources. Think of this section as a collection of clues to help the students find their way down the path you’ve selected to the finished product that you want to see.
Put It All Together
Are you ready to create your first webquest? There’s no time like the present to get started! You’ve got the tools and you’ve got the ideas. All you need to do is put them together to create a great project that will enhance your curriculum and intrigue your students. If you need a simple template, check out The WebQuest Template from WebQuest.org or the WebQuest about WebQuests by Bernie Dodge (one of the originators of the concept). These two fine examples will give you the tools you need to create fabulous webquests for your students.
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