Creating a Webquest to Teach Pet Emergency Preparedness



Unit I: What is a WebQuest

The WebQuest model was developed by Bernie Dodge and SDSU/Pacific Bell Fellow Tom March at San Diego State University in February, 1995. Bernie Dodge, a professor of educational technology at, developed the model while teaching a class for pre-service teachers at San Diego State University. He wanted to create a format for online lessons that would foster higher-level thinking skills that his student teachers could use in the classroom. Tom March then developed the first WebQuest.

A WebQuest is an inquiry-based activity in which all or some of the resources are Internet-based. Inquiry-based projects are driven by students. When students choose the questions, they are motivated to learn and they develop a sense of ownership about the project [1]. WebQuests are more than just a collaborative work by students and a slide show presentation. According to Tom March, WebQuests are a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students’ investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding [2]. WebQuests are ways of integrating learning strategies such as Authentic Assessment, Constructivism, Learner-centered Theory and others and to make an educational use of the Internet. Students take the information that they interact with and create new projects that they share through a slide show, oral presentation or other form of media.

There are two levels of WebQuests, a short term WebQuest and a long term WebQuest. A short term WebQuest is designed in one to three class periods and a long term WebQuest is designed to be completed in one week or up to a month in a classroom.

Unit II: Process

WebQuest are different than other web-based activities because their task required higher order thinking. The task engages the learner in either synthsis, problem solving, or analysis. Another useful benefit of a WebQuest is that the resources are pre-selected and evaluated for students. This eliminates students accessing websites that are inappropriate and spending time on the web looking for the resources for their task. WebQuests provides teachers with a structured environment where techonology can be integrated into the classroom.

A successful WebQuest should have the following six components:

  • The Introduction provides the learner with background information. This section could also create or describe a scene and can assign roles to the students. It also provides an overview of what the goals are in the assignment.
  • The Task describes the activity that the learner would accomplish by the end of the assignment. The task is the most important part of the process. Choosing the question or what the learner is suppose to research is a difficult and creative decision. The task should be interesting and also attainable. Students can be asked to create multimedia project to show the results of their research. Teachers can show an example of a finished project to students so they can see what the results of a WebQuest would look like.
  • The Information Sources are the pre-determined websites selected for the learner to complete the task. The learner is not left on their own to search on the Web for resources, time is not wasted nor is the learner given the opportunity to come across inappropriate web sites. Many (though not necessarily all) of the resources are embedded in the WebQuest document itself as anchors pointing to information on the World Wide Web [3]. Some of the resources may include searchable databases, online journals or articles, organizations or other documents. Create a list of current, kid-friendly and age-appropriate sites that will engage your students.
  • The Process is the strategies the students will use to complete the task. The process should defined step-by-step and clearly described. This also includes the role each student will have and the steps they need to take to complete their role.
  • The Evaluation measures the results of the activity. The evaluation describes to the students how their performance will be evaluated, and is often in the form of a scoring rubric. Individual rubrics that are easy for students to read and follow curriculum objectives should be developed. Bernie Dodge developed a [Rubric for WebQuest] that you can use.
  • The Conclusion brings closure to the activity and encourages students to reflect on what they have learned. The conclusion summarizes the major concepts and points learned by each of the students and provide ideas for continued research on the topic.

Unit II: Additional Characteristics of Effective WebQuest

Unit IV: Design a WebQuest

  • Introduction
  • Task
  • Process
  • Resources
  • Evaluation
  • Conclusion


AboutMiriam Ramos

Concept to Classroom

Creating a WebQuest: It's Easier than You Think!

Kathy Schrock Webquest Page

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now. Homeland Security

ASPCA Animalessons® Emergency Preparedness

Some Thoughts by Webquests by Bernie Dodge, San Diego University

Techsoup An Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning

The WebQuest Place

Using the Internet to Promote Inquiry-based Learning by David S. Jakes, Mark E. Pennington and Howard A. Knodle

YouthLearn: Learning How to Develop an Inquiry-Based Project

Schweizer, H. and Kossow, B. Webquests: Tools for Differention. Gifted Child Today, Winter 2007, Vol 30, no 1.

Yoder-Brown, M. The Student Webquest: A Productive Thought-Provoking Use of the Internet. Lead & Leadning with Technology, 1999, Volume 26, Number 7.