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In this final section, we recap the key principles guiding WebQuests and provide a printable framework you can use while designing a WebQuest for your own classroom.
Key principles
Step-by-step planning

Key principles

Number 1 Keep in mind that a WebQuest must involve higher-level thinking and a transfer of information from one intellectual domain to another. Some poorly designed WebQuests are no more than a bunch of questions that lead students on a scavenger hunt or involve simple calculations. A good WebQuest should have students take information in and transform it, using their own judgment and creative problem-solving techniques.

Number 2 If you are concerned about the time involved in creating a WebQuest, remember that although they take a lot of work up front, you won't have additional lesson plans to prepare while the students are working on them, and a year from now you will be all set. You may need to adjust your WebQuest a bit, but the second time is much easier.

It's important to recognize that this is not only a new way for teachers to teach but also a new way for students to learn. For example, you can't assume that students know how to analyze primary source materials if they have never seen them before. You can't assume they know how to ask the right questions in e-mail to experts if they haven't done so before. There is extra scaffolding required, which means that for students as well as teachers, the first one is harder than successive WebQuests.

Remember the WebQuest components. Successful WebQuests incorporate six main components, which include (as was discussed in greater detail in the "Explanation" section):

. A clear, concise introduction that provides necessary information and sets up the activity.

. An interesting and concrete central task.

. A collection of information resources needed, listed on a handout for the students.

. A step-by-step description of the process to be used for the task.

. Guidelines on how to organize the information acquired (questions that should be answered, etc.); this will be the backbone for the Web site students create.
. A closing lesson that reviews what the students have learned and how it can be brought to bear on other subjects.


Workshop: WebQuests
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation

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