How WebQuest Elements, Choices and Value Judgments Made Address Problems Posed
According to the Thirteen Ed Online website, WebQuest is an online, inquiry-oriented, learning tool whereby learners working in groups use the World Wide Web to come up with their research. The WebQuest platform consists of six critical elements, with the design of each component helping to address the problem(s) posed. The WebQuest activities are created in a manner such that they match the student’s interests, future goals and past experiences. This is one of the means intended to motivate the learners. Generally, when the students engage in an activity they are interested in, they are likely to meet their objectives and solve the problem posed in the process. This information is captured in the introduction part.
The WebQuest platform is also designed in a way such that students know the tasks to be accomplished by the end of each WebQuest. This helps the students to have a clear view of what is required of them, and this should assist them in planning how to accomplish each of the tasks. Besides this, for each task assigned, the students have a wide range of resources assembled by the teacher, and this makes the task doable and interesting. Examples at this stage can be useful in giving the students an idea of what they will accomplish. Use of several examples form past assignments can be helpful in attaining this goal. In case the teacher has a successful project, then, it can be reused to challenge the students to come up with something that betters what those before them had prepared.
Each project requires a well-defined process of accomplishing the WebQuest. A demonstration of the steps required can be incorporated at this point to help the students to assimilate the process at each step. A step-by-step demo accompanied by written instructions can be useful at this stage. With a well-defined, step-by-step plan of accomplishing the WebQuest, the students remain focused, and this avoids major deviations. The plan also helps students to rectify any diversion in time. Also, the students are guided by the resources at their disposal, and this helps them to stay on track.
Each WebQuest has a list of the resources the students will use to finish the task. The resources can include website links, and print reading materials. Non-web resources (such as maps, models, audios, videos) help to supplement the online resources. The resources recommended by the instructor ensure that the students will not have much difficulty in completing the WebQuest. Evaluation is another critical component of a WebQuest, and this helps to determine the students’ performance as per the set task. Assessment is made against the specific objectives of each task. Depending on their performance, students can be exemplary, acceptable or unacceptable. It is vital to stipulate what constitutes each of the three sets, to help the students strive for excellence and ensure that students have a good experience work on their projects.
The WebQuest also has a conclusion part which allows the students to reflect on the project and the teacher to sum up the project. This helps both the students and the teacher. The student can give an account of what they learnt, and the teacher can benefit from the students remarks on how to improve the lesson. Therefore, each of the six components of a WebQuest enables students to undertake the tasks diligently, and ensures that the students work towards achieving the goals of the WebQuest.
Why Incorporating Learning Technologies May Serve Critical Perspectives on Global Education and Teaching
As the whole world embraces more advanced technology and globalization continues to open up more areas, many countries are adopting the use of information technology to come up with solutions that confound their societies. Globalization has made it easy to solve some problems because solutions applied in a certain area can be helpful in overcoming the same challenges in any part of the world. Sharing information has also become a critical part of life because people need updates on numerous matters. As these events unfold, the incoming generations will need to learn and adapt to the use of tools that encourage interconnectivity and cooperation. This, therefore, requires the use teaching tools that encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills and at the same time get an exposure on what to expect in future. WebQuest seems to be the most appropriate that learners and instructors would use to achieve these goals.
WebQuest inculcates critical thinking skills, and encourages cooperative learning. WebQuest encourages team spirit and cooperation because each group member has to contribute in accomplishing the task. Apart from achieving cooperation, the WebQuests assist each student to master a certain part and explain it to group members, and this provides motivation. It is essential to note that as the world advances technologically, the people will need critical thinking and cooperation skills to address their challenges and this are skills that WebQuest readily offers. The fact that students use the internet to do their research imparts essential researching skills and enhances the students’ technological competencies. The use of information from different sources helps the students to develop their critical thinking skills because they have to sift the information to the contents that matter. This is reminiscent of the future societies which will also have access to a wide range of information coming from different sources, and this will require the people to verify and evaluate the information before making use of it. The process of examining and evaluating the usefulness of the information encourages critical thinking.
Critical thinking skills are also developed when students debate on issues, participate in discussions and engage in role-play. Above all, the problems addressed in each WebQuest exist in the real world, and this makes the process authentic. Therefore, as long as future generations will require the use of learning tools which expose them to the real challenges in the world, and make use of the information available from different sources to make critical solutions which solve those problems, platforms like WebQuest will continue to be useful.
Cennamo, Katherine S., John D. Ross and Peggy A. Ertmer. Technology Integration for
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Rountree, Kimberly Marie. Evaluating WebQuests and the Needs of a WebQuest Rubric.
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Thirteen Ed Online. What are the essential parts of a WebQuest? . 25 March 2013