WebQuest, the new educational technology invention ?
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.
Since those beginning days, tens of thousands of teachers have embraced WebQuests as a way to make good use of the internet while engaging their students in the kinds of thinking that the 21st century requires. The model has spread around the world, with special enthusiasm in Brazil, Spain, China, Australia and Holland.
A WebQuest is a highly valued instructional strategy, during which learners actively build their own critical understanding of a topic. During this activity, questions or problems are often researched, and learners may work cooperatively to find solutions.
Instructors may alter the rigor of the activity by challenging students according to varying levels of abstraction. Questions can be defined by Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
The relevance of the instructional materials is an important factor, because it can provide increased motivation. Relevance may be provided by using news resources to infuse current events into the lesson.