WebQuests are a fantastic teaching tool, especially for KLA: SOSE where inquiry methods are used. They are engaging and can facilitate deep learning experiences using high-level thinking and problem solving skills (Russell, et al., 2008). Additionally, learner’s information technology and information literacy skills are also improved when completing a WebQuest (Russell, et al., 2008).
The implication that teachers may face when using this technology in their classrooms is reaching a number of KLA’s through the one learning experience. Another implication teachers may face is having enough computers for all learners to be on the computer at once. WebQuests differ to that of the traditional approach to teaching in various ways; using a webquest to complete a SOSE unit is completely opposite to the traditional ways of teaching in the fact that there is no library or text book necessary to complete it. Using a WebQuest to complete a technology activity is also different to the traditional teaching way in the fact that technology can often be seen as the construction of an object and the process which goes with it. A WebQuest can be used here to create a model on the computer along with the relevant documentation required.
Click here to see my WebQuest. It has been designed for learners in year 9.
This WebQuest has been designed in accordance with the Engagement Theory framework. It’s purpose is to engage the learners in a meaningful experiences that relates to them and their friends on a personal level of interest (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998). It has authentic links to the real world through news paper articles on the ‘problem’, making the learning experience more real. This task is also similar to that of a constructivist approach in the way that it has a meaningful, authentic touch to it (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998). Additionally, this WebQuest has been designed for groups of three (collaborative learning), are project-based and have an authentic/outside focus; the three primary factors that accomplish engagement (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998).
Kearsley, G., & Sheiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Russell, C,K., Burchum, J,R., Likes, W,M., Jacob, S., Graff, J,C., Driscoll, C., Britt, T., Adymy, C., & Cowan, P. (2008) Webquests: creating engaging, student-centred, constructivist learning experiences, 26(2):78-87. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317258