Introduction to WebQuests

Introduction and Writing Compelling Scenarios

With imagination, a teacher can produce limitless ideas and topics for WebQuests.

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Teachers create scenarios that fall categories such as: bringing contemporary world problems into the classroom, evaluating history, creating products, dealing with life’s realities, and sparking students’ learning.

Bringing contemporary world problems into the classroom. Students are given a current contemporary problem that can be from local to global. Contemporary world problems could be environmental, political, or sociological and can range from polluted rivers to human rights to endangered animals. Even if a problem is chosen that has an easy solution, students are still challenged to come up with resolutions that must be feasible, engage in debate, reach consensus, and formulate a plan to solve the issue at hand.

Evaluating history. A WebQuest might have students look at specific events that happened in history such as wars, major tragedies, disasters, or periods of exploration. By dealing with historic events, teachers challenge students to imagine themselves as being an eyewitness in the event.

Creating a product. Some teachers create a WebQuest that has as its goal an end product. A product is a concrete creation such as an image, a mural, a flower bed, a multimedia production, or even a menu for a multicultural dinner. Students research their topic through both traditional resources such as books, and Web resources.

Dealing with life’s realities. Students are given a task that they likely will face in the future such as: finding a job, buying a car, or traveling to another city or country. Students would use online resources such as: employment classifieds, airline schedules, and money-exchange charts.

Spark the imagination. Students’ imaginations can be stimulated by an imaginary trip through outer space, a journey to the center of the Earth, a journey back in time, a visit to the ocean’s bottom, a journey through the human body, or anywhere else. A WebQuest might also have the student imagine that they have superpowers, such as flying or turning invisible, or fantastic machines such as time machines.

• A good WebQuest formulates questions that are long-term rather than short-term. Short-term questions may require that students search for facts, but a long-term project requires students to answer difficult questions and analyze information.