What’s a Webquest?

Learn About WebQuests

More and more, teachers are expected to incorporate technology into their curriculum. Our fast-paced society now demands that even young children become technologically literate, and no one can be fully educated without developing skills in this area. WebQuests are one way to meet not only these needs, but also to engage students in higher level thinking skills on a routine basis. A good WebQuest helps children learn and also gets them analyzing, critiquing, evaluating and synthesizing. Many are available on the internet, free of charge or for a fee, but in order to choose or create the best possible WebQuest for your students, you need to educate yourself about exactly what a WebQuest is.

WebQuest Background Information

WebQuests are inquiry and project-based teaching tools that primarily utilize internet resources to help students discover, understand, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate. They were the brainchild of Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University in 1995, and intended to help teachers take advantage of the teaching power of the internet. The idea has caught on around the world, and now there are WebQuests available for all ages and subjects, from elementary level through collegiate topics. There are a host of sites dedicated to helping teachers create their own WebQuests and publish them to share with other teachers.

 

 

A WebQuest Primer

WebQuests are generally group projects, but can be completed by individuals. They generally follow a specific structure: starting with an introduction or scenario, a task to be completed, instructions to be followed, internet resources to use or find, and concluding with a product or presentation. Part of the final response for a WebQuest is often creation of a webpage to display its outcome and results. The students’ output is graded on the basis of a predefined and publicized rubric, so everyone knows exactly what is expected for the final product. WebQuests can be short-term or long-term projects. Small WebQuests for younger or less experienced pupils might be completed in two to four class periods or work sessions. Larger projects might last for a week or a month or even longer. Professor T. J. Kopcha has posted an introductory video that explains WebQuests succinctly and clearly.

Why WebQuests?

Perhaps our most important tasks as educators is to give students the tools they need to uncover new and relevant information, organize it, analyze it, and utilize it. Learners need to know how to effectively share what they’ve found out in whatever medium they choose. The internet is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for learning, research, and even presentation in many cases, so we need to adjust our curriculum and our expectations to include it. WebQuests provide the perfect opportunity to embrace the internet and all of its resources, engage students in active learning, encourage higher order thinking skills, and offer multiple mediums for publication or response.

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Want more information about WebQuests or any other educational topic?  Please leave a comment below!

When Your Child is a Visual Learner….

Does your child like to read, use maps, learn from graphs?  He or she may well be a visual learner.  These students understand and remember information best when it is presented in ways they can see.  Watch your youngster’s interaction with information.  Does he or she scan for pictures and graphics before reading?

Visual learners respond well to reminder posters and other forms of visual input.  Here are some other ways to engage your visual learner:

  • Use graphic organizers.  These study and organizational tools highlight relationships between bits of information.  Some classic graphic organizers that we all are familiar with include timelines and webs used to plan writing pieces.  Examples of graphic organizers include Venn Diagrams and the typical depiction of the water cycle with its circle of arrows showing how water evaporates, forms clouds, is precipitated, then evaporates once more.
  • Color code for memory aids.  Visual learners respond well to color-coding information.  You can write all formulas in red, for example, or highlight important information in the text with yellow for people to remember and pink for dates.
  • Color code for skill building, too.  Visual learners who are learning about reading and spelling will do well if you color code vowels or letter clusters to pay close attention to or affixes.
  • Create and use reminder posters and displays.  Visual learners will be able to close their eyes and recall exactly what was on the poster even after you remove it.  It’s a great way to help them study for upcoming tests.
  • Watch video clips with visual learners.  Video games also can help aid memory.
  • Use visual aids such as pictures, charts and graphs to help focus a visual learner’s attention on important information.
  • Play “memory” with bits of matched information such as questions and answers, dates and events, or causes and effects.

Your young visual learner may need some guidance to find the best ways to boost personal studying and learning.  Be prepared to explore lots of options together as you discover exactly what works for your student.

Related Posts:

When Your Child is an Auditory Learner…

When Your Child is a Kinesthetic Learner….

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