|WebQuests can be used in many ways to
cater for the needs of all students.
Individuals, small groups and whole classes can participate in the learning
process. They are not exclusive to computer lab usage but can be used on-line and
off-line, using a number of computers or only a few.
The logistics of how to use WebQuests can be quite overwhelming, however with
careful planning and flexibility, they can be invaluable in utilising the school library,
computers, staff and wider community.
|Using the Computer Lab - Whole Class
- Class Teams - Classes could be divided into
teams working on the same topic, but different WebQuests. On completion of the WebQuests,
students could gather together as a class to share their experiences and perspectives on
- One WebQuest Focus- The whole class can
work through one WebQuest on-line. Although each group would be creating their own
results, it allows for valuable conversations to occur amongst groups, aiding in their
- Limited access to the Lab - Where classes
have only weekly access to the lab, the focus might be for students to do all internet
research during that time, and leave the other components for off-line sessions in the
classroom or library.
|Computer stations - Part Class Access
- On-line and off-line work - If access to
on-line computers is limited, many WebQuests allow, or can be adapted for groups to work
on and off-line. Some students may take turns using the computer, while others are
researching using other methods (interviewing community members, making phone calls to
relevant establishments, conducting surveys, visiting the library etc.)
- Using the Library - In collaboration with
the Information Literacy teacher, teachers working together can give students the
opportunity to use library resources and Information Communication Technology (ICT)
skills. Both can act as facilitators throughout the process and draw on each others
expertise to get the most out of students and the WebQuest they are working on. The
library might be an area where some groups work off-line with one teacher while other
groups are working on line with the other.
- Rotations - WebQuests can be used as an
activity for a class rotation in which small groups work on the computer for the period of
the WebQuest before moving onto the next activity. All activities could
focus on the same issue, topic, theme, concept or KLA.
Access to one or two on-line
computers - Individual Student Access
- WebQuest teams can still be involved in researching the
Internet. It might mean that individuals rotate within their group to
access the computer, so that everyone has a turn. During this time others might be looking
through concrete materials at the same time, in the same area to maintain discussion
amongst group members. Through the course of the day or week, each team gets access to the
- Alternatively, the teacher might give one student in each
group the role of "Internet Investigator" for a particular
webquest. Only they can investigate using the computer, during webquest sessions. A roster
would help students and teachers keep track of turns and length of usage.
No computers available on-line - No
- Working with Community Members - WebQuests
can ask students to engage in community involvement. Students may be asked to write
to a political figure or to interview a significant local member, giving them that
"real world" involvement.
- Involving Parents or Guardians - Parents
will feel valued and appreciated by participating in WebQuests with their children.They
can act as support people to help guide students through the process of a WebQuest.
Parents can also act as another resource for students to discourse with.
- Using Stand Alone computers - Computers
that are not connected up to the Internet can also be used. Software that may be part of
the process or presentation of a WebQuest construction can be used. They can be used
during and after students have used alternate research methods off-line. Stand alone
computers can be used in conjunction with any WebQuest classroom management strategy.
- Downloading Information - In most
instances, websites are vital to the success of a WebQuest. In these cases, Teachers,
Parents, support teachers or students could download the information and make a copy for
each group to view. Downloading the WebQuest itself may also be necessary for students to
see what they are doing. It could be made into an overhead transparency or put into
plastic sleeves or folders, for safekeeping and future use.
Other Uses of WebQuests
- Gifted and Talented Enrichment - Enhance
higher order thinking and take students through more complex ways of thinking that provide
real life experiences.
- Across Grades - WebQuests
can be used as part of a "Buddy" system, in which students can work across
grades on a common topic. It's a great way to get for perhaps primary and secondary
students to work together. There is also scope for students to support younger students
while consolidating their own understandings, not to mention improving across school peer
- Special Needs - Some may
assume because WebQuests engage in higher order thinking, then students
requiring additional intellectual support can not participate. Teachers can engage these
studnets in webquests appropriate to their needs. More able students and parents can
assist with more challenging components, once again improving relationships between
- English as a Second Language (ESL) Students
- There are wonderful WebQuests for motivating students with language needs.
ESL students can use WebQuests to improve their literacy skills while keeping up with
mainstream class expectations, at their year level.
The use of WebQuests in the classroom is only limited by
the educators imagination. Other ways may be to:
- Adopt a WebQuest in its entirety for an
area of study.
- Adapt a WebQuest to suit the theme of
study, students or curriculum area.
- Gain ideas about a topic or theme
- Use the embedded ICT resources to become proficient
in using ICT techniques or programs (eg. Powerpoint, Hyperstudio, Excel etc.)
- Introduce a topic or unit of work. A
stimulating way to get students thinking about their new avenue of study.
- Use it as a focus throughout study of a
unit of work or topic.
- Assess the knowledge of students at the end
of a study unit.
- Engage in WebQuests for a short term and long
- Conclude a unit of work. Students have the
opportunity to clarify what the have learned through their studies of a topic and apply
their knowledge and skills in activities that require critical thinking
- Develop and build the foundations for a debate -
very useful for improving skills in students who are required to do ROSTRUM speeches or
are on a debating team.
Note: It is not recommended that relief teachers use WebQuests for one off
use, as it is necessary to know the students and their abilities to achieve quality
If you have more innovative ideas on how to best engage in
WebQuests, let us know. Click here to contact us.
Do you want to know more about
To learn more about using WebQuests in the classroom, here is an extensive list of articles.
For information about WebQuest workshops and tutorials, click
here for online resources.