Using Web 2.0 Tools to Start a WebQuest Renaissance

Using Web 2.0 Tools to Start a WebQuest Renaissance

Todd Sloan Cherner, Eva Marie Kokopeli
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2706-0.ch010
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Technology is part of the modern world and students must have authentic experiences using it as part of their compulsory education. The challenge, however, is that models for embedding technology into classroom instruction can be vague, misleading, or promote the use of technology for technology's sake. In this chapter, the authors open with a discussion of WebQuests. They then explain how WebQuests can be redesigned using Web 2.0 tools – mainly apps that run on digital devices – in a way that develops students' inquiry skills and digital literacy abilities. The chapter concludes with examples of these enhanced WebQuests that teachers can use as a scaffold when developing their own versions.
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The advent of the World Wide Web in 1990 ushered in the first epoch of the Digital Age, now commonly referred to by its retronym, Web 1.0. This early iteration of the Internet cultivated consumption over creation, and the average Web 1.0 user (Cormode & Krishnamurthy, 2008) logged on at home or work to access information via static webpages, communicate over email, and comment using digital guest books. In the classroom, teachers approached the Internet as an enormous archive of information from which students could pull and cite data for essays and projects. Typically, students logged onto the Internet and searched for reference materials in the school’s computer lab, similar to the way they searched the stacks for materials in the school’s library. After retrieving the necessary information, students exited the online realm to complete the assignments using traditional technologies, such as pen and paper and word-processing programs.

Early educational uses of the Internet were, in this way, substitutional rather than transformational (Puentadura, 2010). With little guidance or precedence, teachers shoehorned the Internet into traditional instructional practices that focused on positivistic products such as essays that correctly identified, regurgitated, and/or discussed historical events, scientific findings, or rationales. Teachers were not leveraging the Internet in dynamic ways; rather, they were using it as a replacement for paper-and-pencil materials. The landscape began to shift, however, when Bernie Dodge introduced the WebQuest in 1995.

In his seminal article, Dodge (1995) presents the WebQuest as a lesson-planning technique that facilitates a guided, student-centered approach to learning through inquiry. To structure the WebQuest, Dodge outlines six stages that are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
The six stages of Dodge’s WebQuest
IntroductionHook the students into the lesson by highlighting connections and presenting the essential question
TaskClearly and concisely describe the desired end result
ProcessDefine student roles, identify necessary tools, and describe each required step
ResourcesIdentify and explain available resources
EvaluationOutline evaluation criteria and process
ConclusionSummarize learning and pose rhetorical questions to deepen thinking

Key Terms in this Chapter

SAMR: A framework put forward by Puentadura (2010) for analyzing the way technology is used.

Digital Literacy: The ability to use multiple pieces of technology effectively for specific tasks.

WebQuests: A lesson plan model for using technology in a classroom setting.

Web 1.0: The first version of the internet that refers to it consisting of mainly static webpages.

Skill-Based Apps: Apps that promote rote memorization to teach students a specific skill (e.g., multiplying numbers, spelling words, memorizing facts).

Creation-Based Apps: Apps that allow students to develop learning artifacts (e.g., stylized videos, narrated slideshows, and interactive infographics).

Learning Artifacts: Products students create that evidences their learning and can include documents, presentations, movies, audio, graphic organizers, illustrations, and more.

Web 2.0: The second version of the internet that includes tools for creating digital learning artifacts and collaboration along with static webpages.

Content-Based Apps: Apps that provide access to information (e.g., search engines, video libraries, and digital galleries).

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