Monday, August 24, 2009

WebQuests - take the journey to learning

WebQuests the results of initiative learning design by Professor Bernie Dodge and Tom March, targeting all ages of students to instigate investigative learning via the Internet. Once information is researched students then formulate their own opinions or solutions to the task. Freedom Fighter or Terrorist by Tom March is a WebQuest for year 10 to 12 Social Studies students on a current contentious topic. The site includes many links to web sites, streamed videos, worksheets and the final reflection essay submission. The WebQuest includes both individual and group work which is facilitated by the teacher support and guidance.

A huge undertaking in technical design that would fulfill many assessment criteria as a major piece of student work. Is value as the time investment required by a teacher to design and deliver a similar project would have to be weighted against the outcomes for student learning and assessment.

As we experienced throughtout the Active Learning and Learning Diversity module, WebQuests will align with the reasearched successful teaching and learning theories. Kearsley & Schneiderman (1999) gave their engagement theory the basic success principles of group context, project-based and with an outside focus with learning occuring in technology based enviroments as the criteria for todays learning. Looking futher back to the 1960's Edgar Dale via Dale's cone showed that the effectiveness of learning with media involvement and the most purposeful being hands-on experiences. More recently Siemans (2004) reported one of his significant changes in learning as 'know-how and know-what is being supplimented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed)'. These experiences are given by the investigative nature and presentation of the WebQuests.

Dale, E (1960), Dale's Cone, viewed 24 July 2009,
Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B 1999, Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning, viewed 24 July 2009,
Siemans, G (2004), Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age, viewed 27 July 2009,

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