Tuesday, October 12, 2004

WebQuests: learning design with purpose

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.

Best,

Scot.

3 comments:

Su said...

Hello

I did something that I call blogquest that can help teachers to do and edit webquests. I use these blogquests in a course with teachers last year, during my master degree research.
You can see in http://planeta.terra.com.br/educacao/Gutierrez/blogs/zaptquests/ , a blog linked to a main blog called [zaptlogs]. All are in portuguese, I'm a brazilian teacher.
regards,
Su

Scot said...

Hi Su,

Thanks for your comment and suggestions.
Unfortunately I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not multilingual and am unable to read your Blog.
Is there any chance that you can elaborate on just how you used your Blog to support the development of the WebQuest?

Thanks again,

Scot.

Su said...

Hi Scot

When I begun this project, there were a very ... group working with me. They has different skills, knowledge, level of education. The participation in the class is free, no duty or any obligation.
Because this configuration, some students go ahead faster than others.
I need a methodology that brings the tools to work with them togheter. So, I think to build small pieces of content and activities that I can combine in different activietis to different students.
Initially I have a colaborative blog (the main environment) and a internal blog to the 'activities' --> links [zaptlogs] and link [atividades]. I build another blog: [zaptquests] to put the 'small pieces of content and activities related' (blogquests) and link it to the main blog. When I plan a lesson, in the blog [activities] I post a script or schedule that point to the blogquest. In this schedule I can personalize the lessons t individual or groups of students.
I build the blogquests using a simple post in the blog with content, links and activities to explore. There are open posts and, later, I invite the students to edit and correct or add more content.
In the menu bar, I put the a link to each blogquest, to facilitate the work, the navigation and the reuse.
There are simple blogs and simple blogquests because one of our proposes is build environments and work methodologies that are easy to rebuild with few technical skills in schools that haven't sofisticate hardware, software, support.
Today, this project is already finished, but the blogquests are still there for reference and reuse in other projects. They give support for two other projects with blogs in the university.
I don't know if I answer your questions with my limited skills in explain my thoughts in english, but I try :)
best regards,

Suzana