WebQuests exploit the Internet’s wealth of authentic material. There is a huge amount of material readily available as well as websites that can help teachers to create their own WebQuests.
A WebQuest is an enquiry-focused activity which aims to engage groups of learners in interaction with information that comes from resources on the internet. There are two key levels of WebQuests that can be distinguished from one another.
Short Term WebQuests
The learning goal of a short term WebQuest is knowledge acquisition and integration, described as Dimension 2 in Marzano’s (1992) Dimensions of Thinking model”. At the end of a short term WebQuest, a learner will have dealt with a significant amount of new information and made sense of it. A short-term WebQuest is designed to be completed in one to three classroom sessions.
Longer Term WebQuest
The learning goal of a longer term WebQuest is what Marzano calls Dimension 3: extending and refining knowledge. After completing a longer term WebQuest, the learners will have carried out some in depth research into a body of internet-based material and transformed it in some way, and demonstrated an understanding of the material by using it to create something for their peers to respond to. This may be created with or without the use of computers. A typical long-term webquest will take between a week and a month in a classroom setting.
I would suggest that with older learners in a working environment, teachers give them a month to complete the tasks outside the classroom but with a regular classroom review to monitor progress in real time.
Look at the Examples on the next page.