A Beginners Guide to Using WebQuests
A Beginners Guide to Using WebQuests A Brief Look at Inquiry Learning and Getting Started with WebQuests Jan Parrott, Piute Mountain School March 2004 But first we need to tell you what Inquiry Learning is and the rationale behind it. Inquiry Learning is a general term for any instructional method in which • The learners begin with a problem or question that causes them to be curious, puzzled or unsettled. • The teacher does not provide answers, but instead provides resources and guides the students through a discovery process. • The process is short or long term and involves further questions, probing and research until the original problem or question is satisfactorily resolved. The Rationale Behind Inquiry Learning: • Knowing how to learn is more important than knowing all the answers. • Good questions are more important than right answers. • “The idea of inquiry learning is based on the premise that there is indeed a „wilderness of mystery‟ to be explored in all fields and that every school subject represents a discipline of inquiry in which all students can participate” (Gunter, et al, p.118). • The gratification of finding an answer yourself builds intrinsic motivation to learn more. The WebQuest Inquiry Model Bernie Dodge created the WebQuest model in 1995. “It is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by the learner is drawn from the Web” (Dodge, 1997). WebQuest are designed to use the learners time well , to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners‟ thinking at the level of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. (Dodge,1997) WebQuests are designed by educators and put online to facilitate lessons. The teacher selects a topic, finds the resources on the web for the students to use and creates the project or lesson and then places it online. The students then use these online resources to complete the projects. All the online resources that the students need are linked and the students do not need to search the web. This is a big time saver and the students are not “free surfing” The wonderful thing about placing a WebQuest on the web, is that other teachers can then use it. There are currently thousand of WebQuests on the internet and many have been evaluated by other teachers. You do not need to create your own to use them. Anyone can use the available WebQuests. They are all free to use and you do not need any software except a web browser and the internet. I will show you how you can get started using WebQuests right away. Step 1: Become familiar with the WebQuest concept • Use the internet to find information about WebQuests. A good site to use is Bernie Dodges WebQuest website at http://webquest.sdsu.edu/ • Try out a WebQuest for teachers. The WebQuest Design • There are two types of WebQuests – A Short term Quest is designed for students to gain knowledge acquisition and integration and can be completed in one to three class periods. – A long term WebQuest extends and refines knowledge and can take form one week to a month of class periods. Information is analyzed more in dept and something is created to show this understanding. By creating and experimenting with WebQuests, Bernie Dodge and Tom March, the original creators, came up with the essential parts of the WebQuest All WebQuests need to contain these Parts: • Introduction Each is important • The Task and has a purpose. • The Process Check out my examples on the • The evaluation following slides: • Conclusion • Credits or References My Introduction: • Have you ever been standing somewhere and the earth started to shake or rumble? Maybe you were awakened in the middle of the night by a big jolt? You then realize that it was an earthquake that startled you. Many students have experienced earthquakes, but most do not know what caused them. This is a web quest all about earthquakes. Join us on this journey to learn about the planet we live on and what causes it to shake and quake! The introduction introduces the WebQuest and grabs the students‟ attention. My Task: • You are scientists and belong to a group of geophysicists. The state of California has come to your group and has asked you to create a guide to earthquakes of California. This guide will be given to all students who move from other states to the Golden State. This booklet must contain sections on: • What causes earthquakes? • How often do they occur and why in California? • What needs to be done to prepare for earthquakes and how can you stay safe during one? • You will be using the internet to find information on earthquakes. You will then create a booklet using the word- processing or publishing computer program available to you. This part gives the students clear directions on what the activity or project will be. My Process: • You will be working as a group of three. Each person in your group has a job to do. All three members will put their information together to create a booklet. Each member will create one chapter of the booklet. Follow the steps below and get started on your project. 1. Assign a chapter to each member. 2. Use the links below and answer the questions assigned to you. Feel free to find your own sites. 3. You may paste the questions in to a word-processing program and answer them as you find the answers. 4. When you find graphics on line you may want to save them as well. 5. When you have all the information you need, edit it into a word-processing or publishing program and add graphics (do not forget to reference websites you took graphics from). 6. Be creative and do not forget that other students of all ages will be the ones who be using your earthquake booklets. 7. Put on your finishing touches such as a cover, title page, table of contents and bibliography. 8. With you group evaluate you booklet using the rubric below(under Evaluation). Edit and make changes as needed. • Print out your booklet and turn it in. The process gives the students the steps they need to follow to accomplish the task. My Evaluation I created a rubric to let my students know how their project will be evaluated. My Conclusion: • I hope you enjoyed this Web Quest all about earthquakes. You should now know what causes earthquakes, why there are so many in California and what can be done to protect your self from earthquake hazards. If you would like to share your completed booklets with other school districts in California or be the recipient of earthquake booklets please have your teacher e-mail me and I will arrange an exchange. • Thank You, This summarizes what the students have learned and what they accomplished. My Credits and References I would like to thank my guides in CU and all of my fellow classmates online who help me create this first web quest. Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated. This section lists sources of images, music or text used in creating the WebQuest. Step 2: Chose a California State standard to focus on and do an online search • You can use the WebQuest matrix at this site http://webquest.sdsu.edu/ or http://www.bestwebquests.com to find some good WebQuests • You may also do your own search at any search engine such as http://www.google.com/ Step 3:Find a WebQuest that will Suit you needs • Chose one that is appropriate for you grade level and content standards • Bookmark sites as you find ones you may want to use. Step 4: Chose a California State standard to focus on and do an online search • You can use the WebQuest matrix at this site http://webquest.sdsu.edu/ to find some good WebQuests • You may also do your own search at any search engine such as http://www.google.com/ Step 5: Prepare to present it to your class • Make sure that you have everything required for your students to complete the quest. • You may want to bookmark the WebQuest for your students or put a shortcut on the computer desktop. • Plan the appropriate amount of time needed, be flexible. • Check out all the links and make sure they all work. Step 3: Students Gather Data and Information to Solve the Problem. • Students use the pre-selected sites to gather the information needed to complete the project. • Students work in cooperative learning groups to solve the open-ended problem that has been set up on the Web Site by the teacher. • This is a student student centered inquiry learning • Click on the earth to see the page I developed ( You must be connected to the Internet in order for the link to work.) The teacher‟s role in this is to answer technical questions and to guide students to the tools needed to complete the project. Step 6: Do it with your students. • Act as a guide to introduce your students to their first WebQuest. • Teach them the needed computer skills to navigate the world wide web. • Give them time to work in their cooperative groups and guide them along. Students Develop and Verify their Solution • Students present their work to the rest of class. • Because the problem is open-ended, there is no single solution and every solution is unique. • Students have had the opportunity to participate in the process of inquiry, and to discover that many problems can be solved through this type of inquiry method. I can now use the rubric to assess the projects my students created. Summary of the WebQuest Model •WebQuests are a great way for teachers to incorporate technology into the classroom and there are many resources online for teachers to use to help them create and adapt WebQuests. •Students must work in cooperative groups to solve real world problems. •WebQuests give students the opportunity to use unlimited resources. •WebQuests can be used and adapted at most grade levels and subjects. Comparison of the two Models of Inquiry Learning Suchman WebQuest Long-term Short term Relies on access to Web Can be done anytime, and teacher skills. anywhere Student Research has already been inquiry done and provided on Teacher presents the drives the online. problem orally or on learning. board or paper. Teacher presents the Teacher- process and problem on Students gather data by planned the WebQuest template. asking yes and no and questions. Internet is used as a initiated. Teacher has the answers resource. Teacher and other resources. Students do all the work in selects a Students analyze problem cooperative groups. effectiveness of their and Outcome is verification of questions. conducts solution through a final preliminar product. y research. Teacher evaluates final product. Now that you have learned more about WebQuests I have just one thing to say, JUST DO IT!