WebQuests

A WebQuest is an inquiry-based lesson or unit that is supported by Internet-based resources. WebQuests can vary in length from one classroom period to four-week long projects. On her blog about Webquests, Dr. Alice A. Christie, Arizona State University President’s Professor Emeritus, describes the pedagogical implications of WebQuests:

Pedagogical principles involve reflection, collaboration, cooperation, social skills such as consensus-building skills, open minded thinking, multiculturalism, critical thinking, problem-solving, and an interdisciplinary approach. The underlying principles of webquests are active involvement of students in the learning process and structured ways for students to guide themselves through discovery of new material.

In my opinion, WebQuests are internet-based activities delivered by teachers to the students that are transparent, in that, they are usually accompanied by the evaluation rubric which means students know exactly how they will be evaluated. There are various things that can be embedded in a WebQuest such as case studies, websites, images, videos, animation, discussion questions and guided reflective writing tasks.

A WebQuest usually has six parts to it: (1) introduction; (2) task; (3) process; (4) conclusion; (5) resources; and (6) credits/references.

As a future ESL teacher, WebQuests will be something I will use for sure. Although, you can create own WebQuests, there are lots of excellent already-made WebQuests on various topics and themes that would be relevant to my future classes. For example, I found this WebQuest (see below) on Zunal WebQuest Maker. The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” is contemporary classic literature that high school students within the Enriched English as a Second Language Programme study.

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I would use such a WebQuest as a short-term project related to this novel. Using a WebQuest like this serves to achieve the learning objectives of MELs SÉBIQ English Enrichment programme. In addition, Tom March’s blog, The Learning Power of WebQuests, points out they offer an authentic learning experience for the students.

A real 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 an open-ended question, development of individual expertise, and participation in a group process that transforms newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests inspire students to see richer thematic relationships, to contribute to the real world of learning, and to reflect on their own metacognitive processes.

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