In recent years, access to the internet and information technology has provided great opportunities for learners and teachers to access a vast amount of information. However, many researchers believe that technology alone does not guarantee successful outcomes. It is essential for teachers to apply effective instructional tools to make good use of the internet to engage learners in collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving that the 21st century requires. The use of WebQuests is one of the strategies teachers can effectively integrate technology into their online courses to engage learners in the learning process.
Dr. Bernie Dodge, professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, describes how he invented the WebQuest, why they're so useful for students and teachers, what a WebQuest is and isn't, and how to go about creating your own WebQuest.
The objectives of the course are:
To teach English to EFL students in the web environment through active learning;
To place them in a real communicative situation to practice communication in English;
To promote interaction opportunities;
To enable learners to make good use of the internet and technology;
To address higher order thinking skills and critical thinking.
What is a WebQuest?
- Introduced by Bernie Dodge in 1995.
- “An inquiry-orientated activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet” (Dodge, 1995, p.10).
- Students are presented with a scenario and a task, usually, a problem to solve or a project to complete. The students are given Internet resources and asked to analyze and synthesize the information and come up with their own creative solutions (Yoder, 1999).