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Teaching With Webquests


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Final PPT for the training with LCS teachers on 3.16.09

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Teaching With Webquests

  1. 1. Teaching with Webquests
  2. 2. What is a webquest? <ul><li>A webquest is an assignment which asks students to use the World Wide Web to learn about and/or synthesize their knowledge about a specific topic. </li></ul><ul><li>A “true” webquest, as originally designed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March, requires synthesis of the new knowledge by accomplishing a “task,” often to solve a hypothetical problem or address a real-world issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Simpler web activities designed for students to investigate and collect new knowledge from web-based sources can also be a more engaging and effective replacement for read-the-chapter-and-complete-the-review-questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s First Tutorial </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why webquests ? <ul><li>A good webquest makes learning interesting for your students. </li></ul><ul><li>Puts the power of the web behind your topic. Because websites can take your students anywhere in the world, they can discover information for themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Webquests are a way to let students work at their own pace, either individually or in teams. </li></ul><ul><li>A webquest lets students explore selected areas in more depth, but within limits that you have selected. This makes webquests ideal for classes which combine students with different ability levels. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why webquests? <ul><li>Webquests offer a different, more dynamic approach to teaching the value of research. </li></ul><ul><li>Webquests are also highly visual. </li></ul><ul><li>Webquests can also increase the &quot;comfort level&quot; of students using the Internet for learning activities. While your students are probably already computer literate, a properly designed webquest can help students become creative researchers rather than simply &quot;surfing&quot; from one site to another. </li></ul><ul><li>A good webquest can provide a more authentic learning experience for students, as they are solving a real-world problem and completing a professional-type task. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Examples: <ul><li>Social Security </li></ul><ul><li>The Roaring 20’s </li></ul><ul><li>Webbie Awards </li></ul><ul><li>To Kill a Mockingbird </li></ul><ul><li>Social Security </li></ul><ul><li>The Roaring 20’s </li></ul><ul><li>Webbie Awards </li></ul><ul><li>To Kill a Mockingbird </li></ul>
  6. 6. Elements of a Webquest <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What will the students be learning on this quest? How does it relate to their in-class learning? What is the issue being dealt with? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably one of the most important components of a webquest - What will your students be doing with the information they gain on the quest? Try to come up with a task that is as authentic as possible (give them an authentic audience or setting if possible) and that requires the students to interact with the information, not just regurgitate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What steps will students complete to accomplish their task? Are there forms to fill out while they research? Are there decisions that need to be made by the group? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Elements of a Webquest <ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is where students actually visit the websites you have picked for the quest. Weblinks are provided in some sort of ordered format. This requires pre-searching on your part and evaluating the websites you find. Students could do some free surfing during the quest, but I would suggest at least giving them specific search terms to use. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students should be told up front how they are going to be graded on this activity. Will they be quizzed on the content? A rubric should be given for evaluating what they produce from the task. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give the students some praise for completing the webquest, summarize the information, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Looking at the “Task” more closely <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>There must be fifty ways to task your learner. Since 1995, teachers have been adapting the WebQuest model to their own needs and settings, and from their collective wisdom and experience some common task formats have emerged. This taxonomy describes those formats and suggests ways to optimize their use. It provides a language for discussing WebQuest tasks that should enhance our ability to design them well. It's likely that the task in a given WebQuest will combine elements of two or more of these task categories. </li></ul>
  9. 9. More Examples/Resources <ul><li> – searchable database of teacher created webquests </li></ul><ul><li> – searchable database of webquests maintained by the co-creator of webquests </li></ul><ul><li>Best – searchable database of webquests maintained by the other co-creator of webquests </li></ul><ul><li>A google search for webquests – using search terms “____________” and “webquests” </li></ul>