Web Quests – an old idea still proving its worth.

istock_000000172111small.jpgDeveloped in 1995, before the internet ‘took off’ in popularity (and when we enjoyed 14.4 dial up modems!), the Web Quest was designed as an enquiry-oriented learning activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the internet.   Web Quests are designed to focus learners on using information rather than looking for it, and to support their thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.  

We recently created an e-learning program with a Web Quest component where the learner had to review a range of collated sites to complete a range of activities. It proved very popular and a great way of encouraging learners to continue their knowledge development through accessing a range of carefully selected sites. Its worthwhile considering the idea if you’re looking for a way of extending your program’s reach.

The model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University. The key elements to consider and include in a Web Quest are listed below:

  1. An introduction that sets the stage and provides some background information and sets out the required task.

  2.  A set of information sources needed to complete the task. These can be embedded in the WebQuest document. The sources can include internet sites, pod casts, wikis and databases.

  3. A description of the process the learners should do to accomplish the task. Some guidance on how to organise the information acquired. This can be through questions or directions to complete frameworks such as timelines, concept maps, or SWOT analysis.

  4. A conclusion that brings closure to the quest, reminds the learners about what they’ve learned, and encourages them to continue their experience.

For more background on the concept and some examples, head over to the San Diego Web Quest site.

 

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