WebQuests are a Web-based learning activity that develops a number of “soft” skills as well as developing deep understanding and higher order thinking. The WebQuest model was originally developed in 1995 by Bernie Dodge from San Diego State University (SDSU). Tom March, who worked with Bernie at SDSU has also developed a variation on the original model that involves intra group role-play.
WebQuests are problem-based learning activities and are initiated by a messy ill-structured problem after some initial background information examination. They are a brilliant example of high quality e-learning that is very engaging.
You can learn more about WebQuests at the WebQuest Page, the WebQuest Portal, or at Ozline.
To date I’ve been involved with the design and development of two WebQuests that have been based on the approach adopted by Tom March for “Searching for China”.
My first WebQuest, “Antarctic Ice to Water Australia” was developed for years 9 to 12 and has been rated as one of the best WebQuests developed.
The second WebQuest I developed, “A Quest for a safer and healthier workplace” was designed by Yvonne Toft from Central Queensland University and posed a question that looked at the case for a convergence of workplace health and safety legislation to bring the mining industry under the same legislative framework as other Australian industry.
The WebQuest provides an interdisciplinary approach to learning and requires its participants to work together to develop possible solutions that are the best fit for the perspectives of the stakeholders involved.
As yet there are few engines that will assist an html novice to publish a sophisticated WebQuest—Tom March’s "Web and Flow" Website and engine are well worth the look however.
Try your hand at developing a WebQuest today—they’re fun and the students love them.