Unit I-Why Webquests


Unit I Why WebQuests?


Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how WebQuests can be used in Higher education & Professional Development
  • Understand how the use of WebQuest can develop critical thinking skills
  • Identify technology learning opportunities

Case Study of Job Portfolio WebQuest

This course is going to use an example of a Job Portfolio WebQuest as a case study. This was created to use with students who are in short-term educational programs in the workforce development division of a community college. The job portfolio is a part of the student's employability skills grade. Throughout each unit the various sections will be explained in detail.

View the case study WebQuest here: [1]

Higher Education and Professional Development

A research study was done to evaluate the effectivness of using WebQuest as a computer-based learning tool in higher education(Hassanien, 2006). The students used a WebQuest designed for their research module and the results were:"they began to see the relationship between the research philosophy and the research aims and questions. Most students wanted to extend their learning beyond this activity." The results also showed the students had high levels of satisfaction with the learning effectiveness of the the WebQuest.

View Examples of WebQuests:

  • WebQuests used in higher education with education students, Teacher Education Portfolio: [2]
  • WebQuests created by students in higher education:[3]
  • WebQuest for professional development(teaching): Get Parents involved in Reading:[4]
  • WebQuest for professional development(workplace): A quest for a safer and healthier workplace: [5]

Critical Thinking

WebQuests are not only used for content learning but also to conduct research in an authentic problem solving environment. There are two types of WebQuests, short term and long term. In the short term WebQuest, which is about two or three lessons, the focus is on knowledge acquistion and learning a few specific skills. The long term WebQuests are longer about 4-12 weeks and "requires extending knowledge acquistion and developing complex thinking skills through analyzing, synthesizing, creating, and transforming information."(Ikpeze & Boyd, 2007).

  • WebQuest developer, Bernie Dodge, further discusses the questions on why WebQuests? in his educational chat: [6]

Technology Learning Opportunities

The National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers(NETS) require use of various technologies to plan and design effective learning environments and experiences for students. "The new literacies of the Internet enable learners to search for, retrieve,and critically evaluate Internet resources;collaborate; and construct new knowledge. This can be achieved through Web-based Inquiry learning activities such as WebQuests."(Ikpeze & Boyd,2007). A couple of strengths of using WebQuests in teaching is that: "provides teachers an opportunity to see and assess students'ability in using technology for learning, and allows students to use Internet as an important tool."(Halat,2008).

  • Watch the two videos where Dr. David Thornburg, futurist and technology specialist, explains why technology requires more teacher-student interaction than ever before and Dr. Bernie Dodge talks about the skills that WebQuests give to students[7]


  • Think of activities that will develop critical thinking skills in your WebQuest.
  • Brainstorm ideas of how WebQuests can be used in higher education and/or professional development.
  • Assess the learners current technology skills and identify any prerequisite skills that are needed.

Go to Unit II-WebQuest Design