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how to design a WebQuest


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  • 1. WebQuest Assignment How to make an effective learning tool
  • 2. When done well, a WebQuest is a series of separate pieces blended into a seamless whole.
  • 3. Step 1: Select a Topic
    • Must be an important mathematics curriculum standard.
    • Must make good use of the Web.
    • Should require a level of understanding, not just rote learning.
  • 4. Choose Your Topic
    • There are great lesson ideas that will not pass through all of these filters. They might make for terrific classroom activities, but they won't make terrific WebQuests. Your task now is to juggle possible ideas until they meet all three criteria.
    • Take a couple of minutes to brainstorm a list of possible topics for your WebQuest.
  • 5. Step 2: Select a Design
    • Select a design that will fit your topic.
    • Will you use an internet template ? Powerpoint? A Word document?
    • Decide on the design that you are most comfortable with.
  • 6. Step 3: The Task (the hardest part)
    • “ The task is the single most important part of a WebQuest. It provides a goal and focus for student energies and it makes concrete the curricular intentions of the designer. A well designed task is doable and engaging, and elicits thinking in learners that goes beyond rote comprehension.”
  • 7. Task Type: Retelling
    • Students are asked to absorb some info and then demonstrate that they’ve understood.
    • If the task requires looking for simple, sure answers to pre-determined questions, then the activity is clearly not a WebQuest even if the answers are found on the Web. These are just worksheets with URLs.
  • 8. Task Type: Compilation
    • Students organize information in a form that would be useful to someone else.
    • Example: cookbooks, a field guide to a particular set of wildlife, a dictionary of terms used in a specific realm; a Who's Who; a "Best of..." collection.
  • 9. Compilation, cont.
    • There needs to be some transformation of the information compiled. Simply putting a list of web sites or a collection of web images together isn't enough.
    • Make a dictionary of geometry terms NOT print off some shape pictures to color.
  • 10. Task Type: Mystery
    • Design a detective story or puzzle that needs to be solved.
    • Example: a mysterious package arrives on your doorstep. At the end of a sequence of information-seeking activities, your task is to explain the significance of the package and how it relates to division.
  • 11. Task Type: Journalistic
    • Is there is a specific event at the core of what you want your students to learn? Ask your learners to act like reporters covering the event.
    • Students gather facts and organize them into a newspaper story.
    • In evaluating how they do, accuracy is important and creativity is not.
    • Example: Pi Day
  • 12. Task Type: Design
    • requires learners to create a product or plan of action that accomplishes a pre-determined goal and works within specified constraints.
    • Examples: travel plans, design a house given specific physical constraints, time capsule or museum exhibit, create a lesson to teach to another learner
  • 13. Task Type: Creative Product
    • Students learn about the topic by recasting it in the form of a story or poem or painting.
    • Creative WebQuest tasks lead to the production of something within a given format (e.g. painting, play, skit, poster, game, simulated diary or song) are much more open-ended than design tasks.
    • Evaluation criteria for these tasks emphasize creativity and self-expression, as well as criteria specific to the chosen genre.
  • 14. Task Type: Consensus Building
    • learners take on different perspectives by studying different sets of resources
    • authentic differences of opinion that are actually expressed by someone outside of classroom walls
    • result in the development of a common report that has a specific audience (real or simulated) and is created in a format analogous to one used in the world outside classroom walls (e.g., a policy white paper, a recommendation to some government body, a memorandum of understanding).
    • Example: should calculators be allowed in school?, evaluating math games
  • 15. Task Type: Persuasion
    • Requires students to develop a convincing case based on what they've learned.
    • Might include presenting at a mock city council hearing or a trial, writing a letter, editorial or press release, or producing a poster or videotaped ad designed to sway opinions.
    • Often combined with consensus building tasks.
    • The key to a well done persuasion task is that a plausible audience for the message is identified whose point of view is different or at least neutral or apathetic.
  • 16. Task Type: Self-Knowledge
    • Compels the learner to answer questions about themselves that have no short answers.
    • Could be developed around: long term goals, ethical and moral issues, self-improvement, art appreciation, personal responses to literature.
    • Examples: **shrugs** not sure how to apply this to math
  • 17. Task Type: Analytical
    • Learners look closely at one or more things and to find similarities and differences
    • Figure out the implications for those similarities and differences.
    • Look for relationships of cause and effect among variables and be asked to discuss their meaning.
    • Example: creating a Venn diagram comparing Italy with England is a fine task, a better task would include some requirement to infer what the differences and similarities between the two nations mean.
  • 18. Task Type: Judgement
    • Judgment tasks present a number of items to the learner and ask them to rank or rate them, or to make an informed decision among a limited number of choices.
    • It's common, though not required, that learners play a role while accomplishing a judgment task.
    • Example: WebQuest about WebQuests
  • 19. Task Type: Scientific
    • making hypotheses based on an understanding of background information provided by on- or off-line sources;
    • testing the hypotheses by gathering data from pre-selected sources;
    • determining whether the hypotheses were supported and describing the results and their implications in the standard form of a scientific report.
  • 20. Choosing a Task Type
    • Phew!
    • Websites to refer to when you’re stressing at home: Task Taxonomy and Design Patterns (this one has templates you can just copy and paste then type in your info!)
  • 21. Write Your Task
    • Take a couple of minutes and experiment with writing your topic in a variety of task designs.
    • Swap ideas with neighbors. Let’s help each other through this!
  • 22. Step 4: Design Evaluation
    • Complex tasks require multidimensional measurement.
    • Writing the rubric at this stage forces you to think about what is really important.
    • You might revise your task after thinking about your evaluation.
  • 23. Assessment Thoughts
    • How will your learners be evaluated?
    • Rubric should align with the task
    • Will there be a common grade for group work vs. individual grades?
  • 24. Creating a Rubric
    • List some potential dimensions to assess (organization, cooperation, effectiveness, creativity, accuracy, completeness).
    • Choose 3-5 dimensions.
    • Write benchmark descriptions (low, medium, high; beginning, developing, accomplished; etc.).
  • 25. Step 5: Design the Process
    • If you’re going to have different roles/responsibilities, flesh those out now.
    • Find a focused set of resources to provide information for your learners (usually websites).
    • For tips on using search engines effectively, go here .
    • Organize the information so students clearly know what is expected at each site.
  • 26. Step 6: Format
    • Complete the rest of the WebQuest outline. You must include the 6 components:
    • Introduction 4. Evaluation
    • Task 5. Conclusion
    • Process 6. Credits
    • See the rubric for detailed information on what is expected for each component.