Completing this WebQuest project has been quite the experience! I have learned so much about inquiry-based learning and how to create a meaningful WebQuest for students to complete. It is essential that it have the following components:
I believe the collaboration component is one of the most important components so that students are able to share ideas and work cooperatively to accomplish a common goal.
After reflecting on this project, I have come to the conclusion that it takes a great deal of work to develop a meaningful WebQuest for students. There are so many steps included for students to complete the project successfully. After reviewing the WebQuest with a colleague, I noticed I would initially leave steps out and then have to go back and make sure that I addressed all of the important points the students needed to be able to accomplish their tasks. I also realized the importance of having students walk away from this project with not only a greater understanding of the concept covered in a WebQuest, but also the desire to learn more about new ideas that arise as the students learn more about a particular concept. It is also important that students are able to apply what they have learned to other areas of their life, whether it is how to compromise when working in a group, or a more specifically a skill that pertains to a particular concept.
As I reflect upon the evaluation of the WebQuest, it became apparent that peer reflection and peer evaluation are important components to be considered when developing a WebQuest. When students are evaluated by their peers, there is a greater motivation for the students to complete a quality project. It is also important for the students to get new ideas from their classmates, which they might not otherwise had the opportunity to encounter.
Lastly, I have a new appreciation of the amount of time that is required to locate and develop quality WebQuests. So many WebQuests that are on the Internet are simply busy work or worksheets that are designated “tasks” as part of a WebQuest. They do not qualify as inquiry-based learning projects that require thoughtful collaboration, which leads to further inquiry. Although finding and developing quality WebQuests is time consuming, I truly believe completing a project like this is worthwhile for both the students and the teacher.