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WebQuests - what are they and do we need them?


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A look at the pedagogy behind webquests and the criteria that define them.

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WebQuests - what are they and do we need them?

  1. 1. Webquests Steve Evans What are they and why use them?
  2. 2. Origins <ul><li>In 1995 Prof. Bernie Dodge began developing the WebQuest strategy at San Diego State University to help teachers integrate the power of the Web with student learning. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, criteria were developed for creating WebQuests and there are now many examples available on the Web. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition <ul><li>“ 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…” (Dodge, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are at least two levels of webquest that should be distinguished from one another…” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Short and long term webquests <ul><li>Short-term - goal => </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge acquisition and integration. Learner grapples with a significant amount of new information and makes sense of it. 1-3 class periods . </li></ul><ul><li>Longer-term - goal => </li></ul><ul><li>extending and refining knowledge. Learner analyses body of knowledge deeply and creates something others can respond to. 1 week to 1 month . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Basic features <ul><li>Central question/theme </li></ul><ul><li>Take on roles within co-operative group </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance to curriculum/level </li></ul><ul><li>Processing/analysing information </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic information sources/media </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback and evaluation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Five points for design/evaluation <ul><li>Home page - design / navigation </li></ul><ul><li>End task - relevance to curriculum; analysis/collating information. </li></ul><ul><li>Process - clear directions + strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Resources - relevant; exploiting medium; encourage analytical thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation - clear criteria. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Benefits for EFL teaching <ul><li>Exposure to significant amounts of authentic language - reading texts/streaming media (audio/video) </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operation enhances communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting gives focus & deepens understanding of areas of curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks give language learning more appeal </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some examples <ul><li>Primary </li></ul><ul><li>Upper-intermediate </li></ul>