Thursday, August 13, 2009

WebQuests = Life Long Learners

I am not 100% confident that I understand WebQuests, however, the following post will be based on my understanding.
After reading about the WebQuests, I concluded that a WebQuest is a task created by a teacher using various Internet resources. They do not have one single solution, as they are designed to encourage student's to evaluate and analyse certain information to come to a conclusion. Webquests seem to be the perfect task to use in the classroom to encourage students to become life long learners. When completing a WebQuest, Students are not just "eating what they are served" (Prensky, 2005) These activities encourage students to seek answers, rather than to just accept what they are being told is true. Young people these days are more and more likely to challenge the information presented to them, as this is what they do in everyday life. By undertaking a WebQuest, I am sure that students would be much more interested in subject matter as is not just being read to them from a text book. It is being presented to them as a Quest, a mission that they must undertake to seek out answers. Webquests even have the ability to help students grow in confidence, as they are required to "debate, discuss or defend a particular stance with classmates." (WebQuest Direct) This, in turn, prepares them for the 'real world'
WebQuests are also tasks that incorporate all the aspects of engaged learning. "By engaged learning, we mean that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluation" (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). These tasks also contain the components of "relate-create-donate" (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).
The only con I can see for using WebQuests in the classroom would be that teachers will have to monitor their students closely. The classroom would certainly not be running as it would traditionally, where teachers can clearly see if a student is paying attention and contributing to the lesson. Completing a WebQuest means that the classroom may be more 'lively' and therefore students may be able to be distracted more easily, however a well prepared WebQuest should keep the students engaged in the task at hand.
It seems clear that WebQuests will certainly engage our students, however, are they too time consuming to create for our teachers, and therefore not an effective solution to engaging our students? WebQuests may be very time consuming at the moment, however, just like any new tool, the more they are used, the easier and less time consuming they may be. Due to the rapid speed in which information changes on the Internet, I highly doubt that WebQuests could be re-used as part of a curriculum. They would need to be re-created each time they were used. Perhaps funding could be directed towards a new website where Webquests are created and are available for teachers to use in their classrooms, or at least having a template set up with most of the work done already. I believe that WebQuests offer so many positive outcomes and therefore certainly need to be included in today's classrooms.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 4, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2005) Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved July 3, 2009, from

WebQuest Direct (2009). What is a WebQuest . Retrieved August 13, 2009, from WebQuest Direct :


  1. Dear Kelly

    Bravo, your posting is so much more polite than mine.

    Even after watching Jim's youtube clip on I did not feel any more endeared to the concept.



  2. Hi Kerry,
    Thanks for the link to the YouTube clip. It shows that there is a template to use, however it still seems tiem consuming, so perhaps this could be fine-tuned a little further. It is a shame that they are time conusming, because I really do think they are a great tool!