Step 1: Initial Planning & Topic Selection
Crafting an appropriate task that addresses the higher-level thinking skills of Bloom's Taxonomy is probably one of the most critical aspects of an effective WebQuest. The task is the end result—what the student will produce as the culmination of the resources that you provide, and the process that you will guide your students through. It is more than merely restating some information, and goes beyond mere comprehension. Selecting a good task is essential to creating a good WebQuest.
The following steps will guide you through developing this important section of your WebQuest.
- Read the article FOCUS: Five Rules for Writing Great WebQuests. Note especially the points concerning tasking your learners (the “C” section). You will also explore the concepts concerning scaffolding later on.
- The key to an excellent WebQuest is a good high-level task. To decide on a topic, and then refine it to a task, review the following: Selecting a WebQuest Project. You will use your WebQuest Planning Sheet to address the points raised in the article.
To assist you in further refining your task, utilize the Webquest Taskonomy to provide guidance on the general types of tasks that make for good webquests. You may also want to examine the Webquest Design Patterns to get ideas for particular applications of various higher-level Bloom’s verbs. After review of these materials, enter your task on the Planning Sheet.
Use this checklist Choosing a WebQuest Topic and Task to help you evaluate your topic/task.
Summarize/record your responses on your Webquest Planning Sheet as you work through the above material. Turn in your Planning Sheet for each group by the time indicated on the syllabus.
- Curriculum standards: verify that there are standards that address the topic; copy and paste these into the Planning Sheet;
- Creative discontent: as a pre-service teacher, you are going to be rather limited here, but you can reflect on your own educational experiences to pick topics that you feel could have been presented more effectively;
- Using the Web well: does your task go beyond just reading and regurgitating (see the Webquest Taskonomy below)?
- The Finding Resources page from the official WebQuest site lists several links to point you to quality content sites. The eThemes page from Missouri's eMints site, for example, is an excellent resource for topic ideas, and web-based resources to support them.
- Understanding: Does your task operate at the higher-level Bloom’s? Address this in the Planning Sheet.
Once your Webquest plan has been approved, review the Webquest Design Patterns (if you have not already) to see if there is a design template to help you structure the various sections of your Webquest. When we sign up for the QuestGarden accounts, these templates are already pre-loaded into the site. If none of these designs seem to fit your particular project, then you can use the generic template.
Adapted from EdTec course at the
SDSU Department of Educational Technology
Graphic from NECC 05 presentation
by Bernie Dodge