I am currently developing learning opportunities for blended learning courses with English as a Foreign Language students. Over the summer, I have had a few months to add some motivating learning objects to these courses. One of my courses calls for a group project based on Internet research. Using the term research is a stretch in this context. I think of it more as a guided internet search.
On several occasions, I have used the WebQuest model to support students through problem solving or knowledge building activities. WebQuest.org and Zunal offer the tools to build original WebQuests as well as the ability to use or customize thousands of existing WebQuests to create an inquiry-oriented learning experience for your students.
The WebQuest inquiry-based format encourages students to acquire most of the evidence or data from the Internet to solve a problem or present a case. After gathering the data and working with it in various fashions, the students input the data into templates that form a complete digital arrangement. The final project can be used for remote or face-to-face presentations.
If you are interested in looking into using a WebQuest for your ESL or LINC class, have a look at LearnIT2teach’sWebQuest support links as they provide further information on what WebQuests are and details on how to build WebQuests for language teaching purposes.
I have tried both Zunal and Quest Garden to create WebQuests. I feel that either will work for you and it will be your personal preference on workflow and style that will influence your choice.
Top ten reasons for using a WebQuest:
- Web Quests are free.
- Documents can be linked within a WebQuest (PowerPoint, Word, images,video…).
- WebQuest templates streamline the development process.
- They promote higher-order student thinking, brainstorming, cooperation, organization and presentation.
- They can incorporate problem solving into your course.
- Students deal with real-world issues when using WebQuests.
- Web Quests can be shared, or repurposed for different audiences/levels.
- No web coding ability is required to build a WebQuest.
- WebQuests are easily embedded into learning management systems (Moodle, D2L, BlackBoard).
- WebQuests are a good fit for blended learning.
Although WebQuests are older technology, they still perform a unique function if assembled with some care. Currently, I am embedding my most recent WebQuest in the Desire2Learn LMS and have also embedded them into Moodle in the past. I hope that you have the opportunity to add these to your course offerings this year.
How could WebQuest complement your programming this year?
Resources referenced in this post:
LearnIT2teach’s WebQuest support links
2 thoughts on “Revisiting WebQuests”
Thanks for this great summary and for gathering the helpful links. I don’t see myself using this with my seniors (aged 55+) nor with ESL Literacy learners, but will definitely bookmark it in case I ever teach LINC 3 or higher. The younger students at our school tend to enjoy internet-based activities quite a bit.
Kelly, I agree that WebQuests are not for everyone. I was thinking that I could remind some instructors about a mature tool and hopefully introduce it to others.
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