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Webquests I – an exploration Sue Spence November 2002.

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1 Webquests I – an exploration Sue Spence November 2002

2 What is a webquest? A WebQuest is an inquiry- oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with, comes from resources on the internet.

3 An inquiry-oriented activity Short term (1-3 lessons) WebQuest knowledge acquisition and integration Longer term (1 week+) WebQuest extending and refining knowledge analyze a body of knowledge deeply, transform it in some way, and demonstrate an understanding of the material by creating something that others can respond to

4 Information sources Many (though not necessarily all) links to resources are embedded in the WebQuest document itself. web documents, experts available via e- mail searchable databases on the net, books and other documents physically available in the learner's setting. “Because pointers to resources are included, the learner is not left to wander through webspace completely adrift.” Bernie Dodge, Active Learning on the Web San Diego State University 1996

5 Structure of webquests An introduction that sets the stage and provides some background information. A task that is doable and interesting. A set of information sources needed to complete the task. A description of the process broken out into clearly described steps Some guidance on how to organize the information acquired A conclusion brings closure to the quest reminds the learners about what they've learned perhaps encourages them to extend the experience into other domains.

6 Other webquest features can often be a group activity can be enhanced by motivational elements of role play (e.g., scientist, detective, reporter), simulated personae to interact with via , and a scenario to work within (e.g., you've been asked by the Secretary General of the UN to brief him on what's happening in sub-Saharan Africa this week.) can be designed within a single discipline or they can be interdisciplinary.

7 Thinking & webquests 1. Comparing: 1. Comparing: Identifying and articulating similarities and differences between things. 5. Analyzing errors: 5. Analyzing errors: Identifying and articulating errors in one's own or others' thinking. 2. Classifying: 2. Classifying: Grouping things into definable categories on the basis of their attributes. 6. Constructing support: 6. Constructing support: Constructing a system of support or proof for an assertion. 3. Inducing: 3. Inducing: Inferring unknown generalizations or principles from observations or analysis. 7. Abstraction: 7. Abstraction: Identifying and articulating the underlying theme or general pattern of information. 4. Deducing: 4. Deducing: Inferring unstated consequences and conditions from given principles and generalizations. 8. Analyzing perspectives: 8. Analyzing perspectives: Identifying and articulating personal perspectives about issues.

8 Publishing the results it focuses the learners on a tangible and hi-tech task; it gives them an audience to create for; and it opens up the possibility of getting feedback from that distant audience via an embedded form.

9 Be a webquest designer 1.Become familiar with the resources available on-line in your own content area. 2.Organize your knowledge of what's out there. 3.Identify topics that fit in with your curriculum and for which there are appropriate materials on- line. 4.Use a template


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