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WebQuests
What do WebQuest lesson plans look like?
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What do Webquest lesson plans look like?

WebQuests are essentially guided lessons, and the structure of a WebQuest is identical to the structure of a lesson plan. The following is an example that can help you better understand how to create and analyze WebQuests for use in your classroom.

Title:
What Makes a Good WebQuest?

Description:
The best way to learn about WebQuests is to understand the differences between WebQuests that are simply "scavenger hunts" and those which help students understand the material in a deeper and more comprehensive fashion.

In order to do so, you will examine a number of WebQuests in your subject area and consider how well they work as lessons in thinking, not just as lessons on particular content.

Task:
Using the resources below as a starting point, find at least three WebQuests in your subject area. Read through them thoroughly, check the links, and consider the questions and the content involved.

Then determine which WebQuests provide the best route to understanding the subject material and its implications.

Resources:
The WebQuest Page
http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/

Germantown Elementary School, Illinois
http://www.germantown.k12.il.us/html/webquest.html

Arizona State University West
http://www.west.asu.edu/achristie/wqmatrix.html

Google
Use this search engine to find additional WebQuest sites, if needed.

Process:
Search for WebQuests using the resources above. Find two that you think are effective and useful and one that you think fails to cover the subject in sufficient depth or has other problems. Use the questions below to rate the WebQuests and clarify your thinking about what works and what doesn't.

Learning Advice:
Answer the following questions about each of your example WebQuests:

  1. What is the main point of this WebQuest? What themes does it explore, and how does it link them to larger questions?
  2. Are the links accurate and up-to-date? Can you find links to replace missing/outdated ones?
  3. Is the task interesting, and will it engage students in the grade level at which it is aimed? Why or why not? If not, how could it be improved?
  4. What problems might arise when students work on this WebQuest? How might these be solved, or do you think they might make the WebQuest unusable?
  5. Which of your two "good examples" is better? Why?
  6. Why did you pick the "bad example" that you did? Are there ways that this WebQuest could be improved to make it work?
  7. How much time will it take to complete these WebQuests? Do they take too long to complete, or are they too easy? How could these problems be dealt with?
  8. How much of these WebQuests involves "scavenger hunts," or trying to find specific content or Web sites? When is this valuable, and when does it just waste time? Are there particular subjects in which scavenger hunts may be useful? Why or why not?
  9. How can students use these WebQuests to understand more than just the particular content and questions? Do they help students learn reasoning, mathematical, or debating skills -- or do they help them understand scientific or literary methods? How might these connections be underlined or stressed?
  10. Has rating these WebQuests changed your mind about which ones are high quality and which are less helpful? If so, why? What else have you learned by examining several WebQuests in-depth?

Conclusion:
Often, students will take the information they gather in a WebQuest and create a Web site to share their conclusions.

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Workshop: WebQuests
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit

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