WebQuest

Even though we live in an ever changing 2.0 world sometimes it really pays off to go back to old school ways. This time I am talking about something that I grew up with, when ICT was making it way into schools in 1999.

WebQuest

WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. These can be created using various programs, including a simple word processing document that includes links to websites. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebQuest 

Using webquests to teach research skills and media literacy
Using webquests to teach research skills and media literacy

So why am I talking about WebQuest? Surely it is an antiquated method and surely there is an app for doing it? Well there is and it is not. There are tons of apps that mimic and replicate parts of WebQuest but as a method of delivering an inquiry lesson it still very relevant:

A real WebQuest….

  • is wrapped around a doable and interesting task that is ideally a scaled down version of things that adults do as citizens or workers.
  • requires higher level thinking, not simply summarizing. This includes synthesis, analysis, problem-solving, creativity and judgment.
  • makes good use of the web. A WebQuest that isn’t based on real resources from the web is probably just a traditional lesson in disguise. (Of course, books and other media can be used within a WebQuest, but if the web isn’t at the heart of the lesson, it’s not a WebQuest.)
  • isn’t a research report or a step-by-step science or math procedure. Having learners simply distilling web sites and making a presentation about them isn’t enough.
  • isn’t just a series of web-based experiences. Having learners go look at this page, then go play this game, then go here and turn your name into hieroglyphs doesn’t require higher level thinking skills and so, by definition, isn’t a WebQuest.

http://webquest.org/index-create.php

So basically one can use whatever technology to create a WebQuest, it is not about a specific vendor or an app, it is how we are using ICT as part of the learning engagement to create a meaningful, challenging, and relevant experience for students. Be sure to visit my Library blog to explore some samples.