A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in February, 1995 with early input from SDSU/Pacific Bell Fellow Tom March, the Educational Technology staff at San Diego Unified School District, and waves of participants each summer at the Teach the Teachers Consortium.
Teachers use WebQuests to:
Keep students on-task while online. (Students activities are organized by the WebQuest and they can stay focused on using information rather than finding it.)
Extend students' thinking to a higher level of Bloom's Taxonomy; analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
Support critical thinking and problem solving through authentic assessment, cooperative learning, scaffolding, and technology integration.
Introduce a unit, conclude a unite, or provide a culmination activity.
Foster cooperative learning through collaborative activities with a group project.
Encourage independent thinking and to motivate students.
Enhance students' technological competences.
Differentiate instructions by providing multiple final product choices and multiple resource websites. Using multiple websites as reading content allows students to use the resource that works better for their level of understanding.
Encourage accountability Specific task guidelines and/or rubrics and provide from the beginning of the WebQuest project, so that all students are aware of exactly what is expected of them.
Enhance the development of transferable skills and help students to bridge the gap between school and "real world" experiences.
Provide a situation in which students acquire information, debate issues, participate in meaningful discussions, engage in role play simulation and solve problems.
Encourage students to become connected and involved learners.
Move themselves into the role of coach adviser rather than the sole source of information.