A Safari Hunt for
By: Beth Caraccio
What is a WebQuest?
It is an inquiry-oriented activity
in which some or all of the
information that learners
interact with comes from
resources on the Internet.
San Diego State University
How do WebQuests help our
students in the future?
They learn to work in teams.
They learn to solve problems and will resist
easy fixes, by learning to process
information and make quality decisions.
They learn to role-play various jobs.
They learn to work on single disciplines or
interdisciplinary themes at one time.
They learn to judge and evaluate the
information they find.
Where did they begin?
In 1995, Dr. Bernie Dodge, professor of
educational technology at San Diego
State University, developed and named
the concept which teaching a class for
pre-service teachers. He wrote the
popular paper “Some Thoughts About
The idea was to give teachers a format
for online lessons that would make the
best use of students time while fostering
higher-order thinking skills.
Types of WebQuests
usually lasts for about a week or a few
usually lasts about a few weeks to a
Characteristics of Short Term
The learner gains a great amount of
new information and makes sense of
it or uses information that they
already know in a new way.
Knowledge acquisition and integration
are key instructional goals.
Characteristics of Long Term
The learner analyzes information,
transforms it and demonstrates
understanding by presenting.
Extending and refining are the
instructional goals used.
Parts of a WebQuest
This section provides background
information and motivational
statements that give the students
the desire to start the WebQuest.
It provides the overview of the
learning goal for the students
This is the formal description of what the
students will have accomplished at the
end of the WebQuest.
Some examples are:
Creating a PowerPoint presentation, book, song
Create a survey, do research, develop strategies
Find places that are “really” near you for future use
Create a plan for the future
It is important that the final project be
something that is visually appealing,
important to the children and fun.
Students find the steps to complete
the task involved in the WebQuest.
Directions for each person in the
group are located here.
Internet links may be placed here for
students to go for the information.
This section consists of a list of other
resources for the students to use.
For example: videos, audio cassettes, books,
posters, maps, models, and manipulatives.
Remember research is finding information
from many sources,not just one.
A list of web pages and links the teacher
has found to help the students complete
Usually a rubric is used for evaluation
and explained at the beginning of the
It should be fair, clear, consistent,
measurable, and specific to the tasks
the students are completing.
The goal is for every student to have fun
with this educational project as well as
being academically successful.
The conclusion is set aside for reflection
by the students:
In their individual groups
What did we learn, what do we want to
learn more about, and how could we do
this better? How could we extend it into
other subject areas?
It will bring closure to the Quest.
Grades 6-8 Themes Grades
Things needed to
create a WebQuest
1. A word processing program with
HTML or a web page program.
2. Space on a server to house the
program or on your hard drive.
3. An Internet company that provides
space for WebQuests like:
Things to consider when creating
Students must have a certain level of
more difficult for very young children
Based on inquiry based instruction and
Not the best way to teach
factual recall, simple procedures, or
Why use WebQuests?
They are a way to bring together the
most effective instructional practices
into one integrated student activity.
The strategies will increase student
motivation for the learning.
They will develop and use higher-
order thinking skills.
Lastly, they will learn to work
cooperatively in the learning process.
How do WebQuests Increase
They use a central question that
honestly needs to be answered.
Students are given real resources to
work with that are both technology
driven and book driven.
The information collected can be
posted for feedback by others.
How do WebQuests help
develop thinking skills?
They include questions that promote
higher-order thinking through analyzing
data through preexisting knowledge or
newly attained information.
The students are asked to transform this
information into a new product or use.
They use “scaffolding” (activities to build
background information and check for
How do WebQuests encourage the
Cooperative Learning Process?
The students take on individual roles
within a group.
They only have to be an expert at one
task, but it is an important part of the
They help students meet standards which
focus on critical-thinking and analysis skills.
Multiple intelligence work aided by use of
Finished products judge with alternative
It is a tool, not an educational theory, so it
can be used in any classroom with
appropriate computer assistance.
Most importantly it is one way to truly use
the Internet and technology in education.
One computer classroom
Let the students work in teams.
Include some tasks that do not
require the computer.
You can print out the material from
the websites, (but It loses a lot of it’s
interactive and simulated components of the web)
so the students can use it to research
Challenges of WebQuests
Finding time to create one.
– Use some preexisting ones already on the web like:
Learning how to create the first one will be
the biggest challenge.
– This will become your template for future WebQuests.
Using the World Wide Web:
– Making sure the sites are still up and going.
– School servers are working
– Time for computer usage by the students
Evaluations of the WebQuests
The teacher becomes “the coach” and
helps the students with questions,
problems, and provide helpful feedback
- this is like conducting mini-
assessments along the way to the finished
The use of rubrics.
Assessments of the “final” product or
(administration, parents, and
Using an open-house meeting where the
students can show off what they have
learned as well as the steps in creating the
The WebQuests can help the stakeholders
by raising their expectations about what
kids can accomplish especially with
One goal is allow the students to become
more independent and self-sufficient in the
Some Thoughts About WebQuests
– By: Bernie Dodge, San Diego State University
Matrix of WebQuests
The WebQuests Page of San Diego
WebQuests Design Map
Kathy Shrock’s Guide for Educators
WebQuests for Learning
– By: Tom March