Webquests

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  • Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University was one of the first people to attempt to define and structure this kind of learning activity. According to him, a webquest is "an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet..."   This definition has been refined over the years, and adapted for various different disciplines. Philip Benz (See further reading) describes a webquest as follows: " A "WebQuest" is a Constructivist approach to learning (...). Students not only collate and organize information they've found on the web, they orient their activities towards a specific goal they've been given, often associated with one or more roles modeled on adult professions." Essentially, webquests are mini-projects in which a large percentage of the input and material is supplied by the Internet. Webquests can be teacher-made or learner-made, depending on the learning activity the teacher decides on.
  • There are two kinds of WebQuests, short term and long term.   The attributes of a short term WebQuest are: knowledge acquisition and integration making sense of large amounts of information typically completed in one to three class periods.   The attributes of a long term WebQuest are: knowledge acquisition and integration making sense of large amounts of information typically completed in one to three class periods.
  • Let's move through the WebQuest strategy, highlighting its features and the rationale behind them. There are many compelling reasons for using webquests in the classroom, including: They are an easy way for teachers to begin to incorporate the Internet into the language classroom, on both a short-term and long-term basis - no specialist technical knowledge is needed either to produce or use them. More often than not, they are group activities and as a result tend to lend themselves to communication and the sharing of knowledge - two principal goals of language teaching itself. They can be used simply as a linguistic tool, but can also be interdisciplinary, allowing for crossover into other departments and subject areas. They encourage critical thinking skills, including: comparing, classifying, inducing, deducing, analysing errors, constructing support, abstraction, analysing perspectives, etc.. Learners are not able to simply regurgitate information they find, but are guided towards a transformation of that information in order to achieve a given task. They can be both motivating and authentic tasks and encourage learners to view the activities they are doing as something 'real' or 'useful'. This inevitably leads to more effort, greater concentration and a real interest in task achievement.   Student Motivation & Authenticity   When students are motivated they not only put in more effort, but their minds are more alert and ready to make connections. WebQuests use several strategies to increase student motivation. First, WebQuests use a central question that honestly needs answering. When students are asked to understand, hypothesize or problem-solve an issue that confronts the real world, they face an authentic task, not something that only carries meaning in a school classroom. Although you can't count on getting a response, when students do receive feedback from someone they didn't previously know, they join a community of learners and have their presence, if not their contribution, validated. When teachers choose a topic they know their students would respond to, they add to the relevance.   The second feature of WebQuests that increase student motivation is that students are given real resources to work with. Rather than turn to a dated textbook, filtered encyclopedias or middle-of-the-road magazines, with the Web students can directly access individual experts, searchable databases, current reporting, and even fringe groups to gather their insights. When students take on roles within a cooperative group, they must develop expertise on a particular aspect or perspective of the topic. That their teammates count on them to bring back real expertise should inspire and motivate learning. Lastly, the answer or solution the student teams develop can be posted, emailed or presented to real people for feedback and evaluation. This authentic assessment also motivates students to do their best and come up with a real group answer, not simply something to fulfill an assignment. Developing Thinking Skills   One of the main (and often neglected) features of any WebQuest is that students tackle questions that prompt higher level thinking. Certainly, the Web can be used as a source for simple information retrieval, but this misses its power and short-changes students. Built into the WebQuest process are the strategies of cognitive psychology and constructivism. First, the question posed to students can not be answered simply by collecting and spitting back information. A WebQuest forces students to transform information into something else: a cluster that maps out the main issues, a comparison, a hypothesis, a solution, etc. In order to engage students in higher level cognition, WebQuests use scaffolding or prompting which has been shown to facilitate more advanced thinking. In other words, by breaking the task into meaningful "chunks" and asking students to undertake specific sub-tasks, a WebQuest can step them through the kind of thinking process that more expert learners would typically use.   Lastly, constructivism suggests that when students need to understand a more complex or sophisticated topic like those that comprise WebQuests, it doesn't help to serve them simplified truths, boiled down examples, or step-by-step formulas. What they need are many examples with lots of information and opinions on the topic through which they will sift until they have constructed an understanding that not only connects to their own individual prior knowledge, but also builds new schema that will be refined when students encounter the topic again in the future. Until the Web, this kind of activity was very difficult for the average teacher to create because collecting such a breadth of resources was next to impossible. Cooperative Learning   As has already been mentioned, in WebQuests students take on roles within a small student group and this tends to promote motivation. In addition, because the WebQuest targets learning about large, complex or controversial topics, it's probably not realistic to expect each student to master all of its aspects. Thus learners divide to conquer. This is not to say that students don't gain the overall understanding, because this happens in a later stage of the process, but it does suggest to learners the reality that not everyone knows everything. In fact, this is one of the great messages that students invariably bring back from interactions with experts whose works focus on very thin slivers of the knowledge pie. Having students develop expertise and be appreciated for it by their peers is built into each WebQuest. Cooperative learning strategies are then applied to necessitate each student's input. By running several WebQuest groups in the same class, students will also see that different solutions were chosen by each team because of the quality of the group members' research and argumentation skills. As students complete more WebQuests they will become increasingly aware that their individual work has a direct impact of the intelligence of their group's final product.
  • Webquests have now been around long enough for them to have a clearly defined structure. However, this structure - whilst being unofficially recognised as the definitive schema for these activities - should only really be taken as a basic guideline and you should design your webquests to suit the needs and learning styles of your students.    There are usually four main sections to a webquest:      The Introduction stage is normally used to introduce the overall theme of the webquest. It involves giving background information on the topic and, in the language learning context, often introduces key vocabulary and concepts which learners will need to understand in order to complete the tasks involved.   The Task section of the webquest explains clearly and precisely what the learners will have to do as they work their way through the webquest. The task should obviously be highly motivating and intrinsically interesting for the learners, and should be firmly anchored in a real-life situation. This often involves the learners in a certain amount of role-play within a given scenario (e.g. you are the school social organiser and have to organise a trip for your class to an English-speaking country...)   The Process stage of a webquest guides the learners through a set of activities and research tasks, using a set of predefined resources. These resources - in the case of a webquest - are predominately web-based, and are usually presented in clickable form within the task document (it's important to bear in mind that it's much easier to click on a link than to type it in with any degree of accuracy). In the case of a language based webquest, the Process stage of the webquest may introduce (or recycle) lexical areas or grammatical points which are essential to the Task. The Process stage of the webquest will usually have one (or sometimes several) 'products' which the learners are expected to present at the end. These 'products' will often form the basis of the Evaluation stage.   The Evaluation stage can involve learners in self-evaluation, comparing and contrasting what they have produced with other learners and giving feedback on what they feel they have learnt, achieved, etc. It will also involve teacher evaluation of the same, and good webquests will give guidance to the teacher for this particular part of the process.
  • Technologically, creating a WebQuest can be very simple. As long as you can create a document with hyperlinks, you can create a WebQuest. That means that a WebQuest can be created in Word and Powerpoint!    QuestGarden   To make it easier to create great WebQuests without having to master a web editor, QuestGarden was created by Bernie Dodge. QuestGarden provides step-by-step direction and examples. Supporting documents in Word, PowerPoint, etc can be attached to your WebQuest. Hosting is provided, and you can also download a zipped archive of your lesson and move it to another server. Subscribers can also start with an existing WebQuest created by one of QuestGarden's 52000 members and modify it easily to meet their needs. 30-day free trial.   Sample WebQuests created with QuestGarden: Dinosaurs Before Dark Museum of Mesopotamia   zWebquest is a web-based software for creating WebQuests in a short time.   Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities.  
  • Webquests

    1. 1.     Фоминых Наталия Юрьевна, к.п.н., доцент кафедры международной экономики СИБД УАБД НБУ
    2. 2. Определения <ul><li>Quest - продолжительный целенаправленный поиск, который может быть связан с приключениями или игрой; </li></ul><ul><li>Веб-квест (webquest) в педагогике - проблемное задание c элементами ролевой игры, для выполнения которого используются информационные ресурсы Интернета. Разработчиками веб-квеста как учебного задания являются Bernie Dodge и Tom March </li></ul>
    3. 3. Типы веб квестов <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>          Краткосрочные </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>            </li></ul><ul><li>          Долгосрочные </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Приобретение и закрепление знаний </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Освоение больших пластов информации </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Типично длятся 1-3 ак. часа </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Расширение и обобщение знаний </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Анализ информации и её переработка(трансформация) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Создание продукта, на который остальные могут отреагировать </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Типично длятся от 1 недели до 1 месяца </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Зачем использовать веб квесты ? Мотивация   Сотрудничество    Проблемное обучение Проектное обучение Развитие мышления Использование современных технологий
    5. 5.   Структура веб квеста <ul><li>Введение </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  Задание </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  Порядок работы </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  Оценка </li></ul>
    6. 6. Методическая оценка веб квестов <ul><li>Введение - мотивирующая и познавательная ценность. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Задание - проблемность, четкость формулировки, познавательная ценность. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><ul><li>точное описание последовательности действий; релевантность, разнообразие и оригинальность ресурсов; разнообразие заданий, их ориентация на развитие мыслительных навыков высокого уровня; наличие методической поддержки - вспомогательных и дополнительных материалов для выполнения заданий; при использовании элементов ролевой игры - адекватный выбор ролей и ресурсов для каждой роли. </li></ul></ul>Порядок работы и необходимые ресурсы
    8. 8. Оценка (критерии, показатели, уровни) <ul><ul><li>адекватность представленных критериев оценки типу задания, четкость описания критериев и параметров оценки, возможность измерения результатов работы. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Генераторы веб квестов онлайн
    10. 10. Let’s make our teaching more exciting with WebQuest!

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