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Come with me on a journey where we will explore, investigate, manipulate and interact with some familiar and some not so familiar Teacher Delivery Technologies.

On the way ask yourself:-
- how can this tool be used to support what and how students learn?
- does this tool meet individual learning needs?
- does this tool allow student's to develop higher order skills and creativity?

This Blog - Transforming Student Learning aims to comprehensively explore a range of delivery technologies that are presented throughout the FAHE11001 E-Learning courseware. A systematic attempt to develop skills, knowledge and ability that is required to exploit the potential for E-Learning Education will be made evident via regular Blog Posts. To conclude, a reflective synopsis will clearnly indicate which technologies I would use and how I would use them to enhance learning.

Please feel free to be critical of my posts as I work may way through these tools, but be kind as I am only a "Digital Immigrant"! (Prensky, 2001)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Web Quests

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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"WebQuest," as defined by Tom March, circa 2003

"A WebQuest is a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students’ investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests do this in a way that inspires students to see richer thematic relationships, facilitate a contribution to the real world of learning and reflect on their own metacognitive processes."


Best Webquest .com has some exceptional advice, ideas etc http://bestwebquests.com/what_webquests_are.asp


Webquests use Web resources to scaffold student learning and in so doing fit perfectly within Kearsley & Schneidermans (1999) Engagement Theory utilising multiple intelligences and automaticall assumes higher order thinking.

Underpinning the WebQuest model is an aspect of cognitive psychology that says that if we want people who may be new to an endeavor to perform at more expert levels, we should examine what experts do and then prompt novices through a similar experience. The classic example of this approach is the writing process. Rather than ask elementary school students to write to the theme "How I spent my summer vacation," we might ask them to brainstorm, draw pictures, list, or free associate before helping them think about an audience and the descriptive details surrounding one particular incident. This prompting learners to perform beyond their current cognitive skill set is known as scaffolding or procedural facilitation and has been shown to positively affect student achievement (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1984; March, 1993). Scaffolds are "temporary frameworks to support student performance beyond their capacities…" (Cho & Jonassen, 2002). Examples of scaffolding are "activities that help students develop the right mindset, engage students with the problem, divide activities into manageable tasks, and direct students' attention to essential aspects of the learning goals" (Ngeow & Kong, 2001). Given ongoing practice tackling advanced intellectual tasks in this way, the level of support is "faded" as the skills are internalized.

Such scaffolding is at the heart of the WebQuest model as defined above. In fact, the integrated scaffolding of specific research-based strategies is "what happens" in the mysterious "black box" of transformation. The main strategies that WebQuests prompt are:

Motivation Theory
Questioning - Schema Theory
Constructivism
Differentiated Learning
Situated Learning
Thematic Instruction
Authentic Assessment
Overt Metacognition
Learner-centered psychological principles

Last year for SOSE me and a fellow student had the opportunity to create a Webquest based on a SOSE unit for a Year 2 class. This was an exceptionally rewarding experience as to date I have found WEBQUESTS to be the most beneficial tool to engage students. It was called Water Warriors and were given a problem based task to research - Water conservation. For the life of me I cannot locate the link but have managed to find a similar WEBQUEST which has been designed with similiar outcomes. http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/edu/ICT/student_pages/RousWater/HSIEunits/Water_past_present_future/brei_darby_waterpast_seq4/index.html

Yes it took alot of preparation, planning and implementation however every great Unit of work does.

1 comments on "Web Quests"

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