The term "WebQuest" has become loosely used
by the online educational community to describe any learning activity
that involves the Internet. Unfortunately, the guidelines and parameters
that are used to create a formal and successful WebQuest are sometimes
abandoned. The original WebQuest was created in 1995 out of San Diego
State University by Bernie Dodge. He and his colleagues developed highly
structured and very useful guidelines for developing online activities.The
definition of a WebQuest is this: "A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented
activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn
from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well,
to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support
learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation."
One of the major steps is that a teacher should go online first and identify
a number of supporting materials that a student should use to solve their
"quest" -- creating more of a guided search rather than an open
Each WebQuest contains similar components, including
a central theme, "doable" task, detailed process and predetermined
evaluation method or expected outcome. All are critical to a successful
online learning adventure.
Every WebQuest begins with an introduction -- a concise paragraph or two
that supply students with background information and motivation for completing
the assignment, such as an intriguing problem to solve, exciting role
to play or interesting scenario.
The task provides a clear outline of what students will accomplish. It
should be doable and important, plus fun for students. Developing a compelling
task is often the most creative and difficult part of authoring a WebQuest.
The process is a detailed, step-by-step guide each student team follows
to accomplish the task, complete with Web links embedded in each step.
The final step in the process tasks students to translate what they've
learned into a written report, Web site, video production, oral presentation,
The resources collection contains a list of the information sources (Web
sites, print books, magazines, atlases, etc.) your students should use
to complete the task.
Create a rubric for evaluating the work of each student team. The rubric
should be clear and fair and should relate specifically to the central
This critical step wraps up the activity and gives
students a chance to reflect on what they've learned. Set aside some time
to discuss what they thought of the process and outcome. Allow them to
offer you advice on revising the activity to make it more meaningful and
Education World's interview with Bernie Dodge, the man
who created the WebQuest learning environment concept:http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech020.shtml
The 3 Rs of WebQuests-Lets keep them Real,
Rich, and Relevant: http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/nov00/march.htm
The author urges educators to design WebQuests that are real, rich, and
relevant. That is the best, and perhaps the only way, he says, to fully
exploit the potential of the Web as a medium for learning. The author
believes that the rewards include professional fulfillment and enhancement
of technical skills.
Creating a WebQuest: It's Easier Than You Think!:
This article has many links to other Web sites.
The Student WebQuest: http://www.lesley.edu/faculty/myoder/webquest.pdf
Weaving the Web into Your K-12 Curriculum-A WebQuest designed
for use with pre-service and in-service teachers: http://www.pitt.edu/~edindex/WebQuests/
Webquest News: http://webquest.org/
WebQuest Template: http://www.spa3.k12.sc.us/WebQuestTemplate/webquesttemp.htm
Examples of Webquests
Airplane Cyberhunt: http://www.gailhennessey.com/index.shtml?airplanehunt.html
Ancient Egypt Webquest: http://www.iwebquest.com/egypt/ancientegypt.htm
Be A Web Site Sleuth-A WebQuest for Grades One and Two:
Best WebQuests.com: http://www.bestwebquests.com/bwq/wqdetail.asp?wqcatid=6&edid=4&siteid=153
Celebrate Flight: http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/instructor/flight.htm
Soar into history to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’
first airplane flight!
Civil War Webquest: http://mciu.org/~spjvweb/civilwarwq.html
Students use primary documents and various online
Civil War resources to create a class newspaper. Assign students a battle
or personage to cover, balancing the two sides for different viewpoints.
The Confederated States of America: http://webquest.org/questgarden/lessons/02906-050927184538/index.htm
"This WebQuest will show what would have happened had the North suffered
a great loss at the battle of Antietam and the Confederacy had been successful
in succeeding from the United States."
The Copyright WebQuest: http://www.edsupport.cc/mguhlin/artifacts/consulting/copyright/
Creative Climates: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/activities/08/climates.html
Students become familiar with the six major climate
zones of the world, and then create their own illustrated climate map
using online sources, and including degrees of latitude and longitude.
Extensions are also supplied.
Designing A Tour Of Washington, D.C.: http://www.pls.uni.edu/nielsen/nielsen/teacherpage.html
Students learn about the Capitol Building, the
White House, and several prominent museums and landmarks through on-line
tours and internet investigations. They must then match twenty given tourist
descriptions to individualized visitor programs of their own designs.
For upper elementary students.
Dinosarus Are Back! Can You Believe It? http://www.manteno.k12.il.us/webquest/elementary/Science/DinosaursAreBack/Plant-eating%20Dino%20Webquest.htm
Welcome to Dino World, much like Jurassic Park, but hoping to make a successful
comeback of one chosen plant-eating dinosaur. Student teams will research
which dinosaur they would choose from online sources geared to the elementary
student. They will then create a class presentation on why their selection
should be chosen, stating the facts that they have learned.
Dinosaur Webquest: http://coe.west.asu.edu/students/jmalvin/quest.htm
Student teams locate hypothetical dig sites where they propose they are
almost sure to find dino remains. Dino Diaries will track student research
and work, with a final class presentation on the site they chose, an illustrated
map, and the tools they will need for their dig.
The Early Man Webquest: http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/lewis/earlyman/t-index.htm
This is a social studies activity for 6th grade students. After successfully
studying one hominid group, students should be able to make some similarity
and difference comparisons with the other two hominid groups. These judgments
can be made during and after group presentations.
El Nino or El No-no- for Grades 9-12: http://www.powayschools.com/projects/elnino/
Endangered Animals WebQuest: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/webquests/animal/index.html
This Webquest is designed for third graders. The student, working on a
team with another scientist, reports on an endangered animal of North
America. Students present their final reports to the Conservation Committee
to bring more awareness about the situation of these animals.
Eternal Rome: Teacher Page: http://www.cj.cnd.pvt.k12.oh.us/colas/t-my-webquest.html
A WebQuest for upper level high school Latin classes.
Famous Photographer or Photojournalist WebQuest:
Gail Skroback Hennessey: http://www.gailhennessey.com/index.shtml?cyberhunts.html
Social Studies related cyberhunts.
GALLERY OF HEROES: http://www.teachtheteachers.org/projects/JZarro2/index.htm
What makes a tragic hero? Students will examine
both literature and real life to find examples, and then create a web
site to illustrate their research. For 11th and 12th graders.
Some people just do not like honeybees, and it is
your students' job to convince them that honeybees are rather fascinating
creatures. In order to make their case, students must first learn about
the three different kinds of honeybees, how they operate in a hive, and
how they make honey. For grades 3-5.
It's My Life!
Grads or graduates to be research what they need to pursue a career and
an independent life of their own, as they envision it. They choose a career,
a preferred place to live, and project their net worth in five years.
Kids are TRRFCC: http://www.teachtheteachers.org/projects/RHoffmann2/index.htm
Character Education WebQuest for 6th - 8th Grade Students.
The King Of Tides: http://www.internet4classrooms.com/tide.htm
Is the moon the culprit behind the tides on Earth?
Student detectives must investigate the mystery of tides using online
resources, and report their findings to the class in a PowerPoint slideshow
or web page, using images, graphs, and tables.
Laureats Nobel Posthumes: http://members.shaw.ca/teacher_lib/TP/
This WebQuest for French 11 has been included in
the University of San Diego's site.
*Students will be using primary documents in the French language, and
proposing a candidate for a Nobel Prize--pre-formation of the prize itself.
They will be writing their nominations and explanations within the form
of a business letter, and in French. A PowerPoint presentation will also
LawQuest-A WebQuest on Laws and Their Implications for
Local Boy Chased Up a Tree - A Math Webquest: http://www.iwebquest.com/math/bearproblem.htm
myinternet Education Resources: Education Week (Victoria)
2003 Nate & Dawg's Excellent Web Adventure: http://www.myinternet.com.au/edu/natedawg/
'Nate & Dawg's Excellent Web Adventure' is a series of webhunts and
web publishing activities. This web adventure is an online learning project
for both primary and secondary schools.
My World: Africa Scavenger Hunt: http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/afterschool/activities/literacy/africa.html
In this activity, kids do a scavenger hunt on the Web to learn all about
Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana.
A Nation Divided: http://www.stonewall.fayette.k12.ky.us/wq/cwwebquest/civilwar.htm
A webquest about the Civil War.
North Carolina Lighthouses: http://www.ga.unc.edu/NCTA/NCTA/WebQuests2001/ParktonES/Index.html
The Ocean's in Trouble!: A Webquest for Grades 4-6: http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/grant/oceanpollution/index.html
Old MacHebert's Farm:
Which animals belong on a farm, and which don't?
Kindergarten students must select a farm animal by clicking on its picture;
a happy face will reward them if they are correct. The second part of
this early elementary webquest lets students click on farm animals to
learn more about their importance in farming.
Pacific Northwest Native American Web
Quest For 4th-5th Social Studies: http://ces.nwasco.k12.or.us/staff/lhughitt/webquests/nativeam.htm
Peanuts, Pecans, and Peas, Please: http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm?lesson=EM363
Planet WebQuest: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/webquests/Planetwq/WebQuest2.html
Designed for third grade, students are astronauts on a mission to another
planet in our solar system. They join a crew to gather information about
their destination. When they become experts, they voyage to the planet.
After exploring it, they contact Mission Control on Earth by cyber postcard
to communicate their impressions and data.
A Revolutionary Webquest: http://library.thinkquest.org/11683/High.html
Follow the path that led to the American Revolution
with the resources available at this Thinkquest site. Students will explore
Early American culture and lifestyle, investigate the major battles, delve
into the Declaration of Independence, and learn about key events and players.
Students can also play the Revolution simulation, where, as commanders
of the Continental Army, they must defeat five fictional cities, buy and
sell troops and supplies, and win the war.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: http://asterix.ednet.lsu.edu/~edtech/webquest/sadako.htm
This is a true story about a girl who lived in Japan toward the end of
World War II. This WebQuest is designed to introduce you to Sadako Sasaki
and her country of Japan. Find out why Sadako is a heroine to the children
School Spreadsheet Safari: http://library.thinkquest.org/J0110054/
The history, vocabulary, and uses of spreadsheets
are all covered in this internet hunt. Follow up this background info
with classroom activities; numerous exercises are listed here and cover
most subject areas.
Searching For China: http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/China/ChinaQuest.html
An altogether excellent webquest here, exploring
different facets of China, as well as China's interactions with the world
at large. Roles include Business Investors, Museum Curators, Human Rights
Activists, Environmental Activists, and United States Senators. Each role
supplies its own mission and directives, with resources supplied according
the role and its requirements.
Template for Writing a "Webguide" Lesson Plan: http://www.internet4classrooms.com/webguide_template.htm
An example of a format for building a lesson plan around any single Web
You can also get the template as a Word document and make changes to it,
then print it.
A Trip To The Grocery Store: http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/kroc/grocery/
Practice math skills and learn about different food
groups and departments in the grocery store. Students will complete several
reproducible worksheets as they proceed through this webquest, creating
a grocery list and estimating the amount of money they will need to pay
for their groceries.
Tsunami WebQuest 2004: http://educatoral.com/tsunami_webquest.html
For Middle School students
USTrek Odyssey: http://www.ustrek.org/index.html
Thi is a cross between a game and a webquest to teach students about the
struggle for women's voting rights in the U.S. (Grades 3-5) There guides
for teachers, parents and teens at the site.
Web-Based Projects: http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/
WebGuides - Internet based lessons written with the WebGuide
A WebQuest about Evaluating Web Sites: http://mciunix.mciu.k12.pa.us/~spjvweb/evalwebstu.html
WebQuest Units: http://www.coollessons.org/coolunits.htm#WEBQUESTS
Where Does Milk Come From?: http://www.manteno.k12.il.us/mcordes/dairycow.htm
This simple webquest for kindergarten students investigates the origins
of milk, how it is processed, and why it is good for our bodies. An online
slideshow takes classes through a visual presentation of the story of
Will The Real William Shakespeare Please Stand Up?
Who was William Shakespeare, and did he really author
all the plays and sonnets attributed to him? Students will visit the Skeptics
Hall of Fame to get a bit of background on the doubt cast upon the man,
his works, and his life. They will be introduced to the question that
has plagued English scholars for centuries, and debate possible contenders
to the most famous body of English literature. An outline of questions
for each possible candidate will lead students through all sides of the
question, after which they must debate, discuss, and form their own group