It is a matter of fact that nowadays speed, reliability and availability if Internet resources are improved and thus teachers are provided with advantages of unexhausted information source to be used for social studies, learning and teaching processes. It is argued that rapid popularity and swift growth of Internet potential affect social studies and other areas, because teachers are given an opportunity to engage students into inquiry learning as well to provide constant access to documents, studying materials, art, music, literature, databases, etc.nevertheless.
Intern isn’t flawless as it may contain potential pitfalls such as instructional resource. (Clarke 1990) WebQuests were firstly invented by Bernie dodge and Tom March in 1995 and introduced at San Diego State University. Dodge define WebQuest as “an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all information that leaners interact with comes from resources on the Internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing”. (Downey & Milson 2001) Therfore, WebQuests should be considered highyl constructivist learning method, because studnets are “turned loose” to analyse found information in “hands-on fashion” method.
Students have an opportunitu to construct their own original understanding of the material. Actually, WebQuets promoted the idea of cooperative learning and thus is appropriate for both students and teachers of all subject areas. WebQuests offer instant access to on-line primary materials with instructions how to evaluate them. Teachers are responsible for supervision, identifying and selecting relevant content of the sources. It means that teachers create websites and web pages to guide students through certain stages of the quest: (Marzano 1992)
Introduction provides general overview of the information, key background issues and aimed at motivating students in problem-solving and inquiring questions. ? Task describes “the final product expected of the students” meaning that final product is elaborated and orally presented with the help of Power Point Presentation or poster depicting. ? Process guides students through teacher’s instructions how to complete the necessary tasks, how to lists resources used for completion. Teacher selects Internet resources to be used in learning process and provides them for students.
Therefore, WebQuests include online searchable databases, sources physically available in the classroom, government or educational websites, e-mail addresses of experts, etc. Evaluation “explains how learners will be assessed on their final product”. ? Conclusion provides summary of the goals, objectives of the activity and stimulates further investigations on related subjects. (Downey & Milson 2001) Additionally, it is necessary to outline some non-critical attributes of WebQuests. Firstly, WebQuests are considered group activities, but there are also solo quests used in distance learning and library settings.
Secondly, WebQuests are enhanced and improved by stimulation elements which give teachers an opportunity a role to play (e. g. detective, scientist, reporter, executive), to simulate personae by interacting through e-mail, to work out a scenario for working (e. g. “you’ve been asked by the Secretary General of the UN to brief him on what’s happening in sub-Saharan Africa this week”). Thirdly, WebQuests are designed within a single discipline, although they can be interdisciplinary as well.
Dodge says that “given that designing effective interdisciplinary instruction is more of a challenge than designing for a single content area”. It means that further creators and WebQuests should be comfortable with format and start with the latter. (Downey & Milson 2001) According to Dodge, three main domains assist to develop information-rich, web-enhanced learning and teaching process. He assumes that students should scaffold in each of three domains involving compelling problems, quality resource links and production templates for enhancement of understanding.
Three domains of WebQuests are: 1. Inputs involving resources, primary and secondary sources, scientific researches and articles, experts and other informational sources. 2. Transformations involving such activities as problem solving, material analyzing, synthesis, decision-making, etc. 3. Outputs involving presentations, reports and web-publishing. After research conducted it is revealed that WebQuests are really effective in learning process and thus provide certain benefits for both students and teachers.
Firstly, it is necessary to outline that WebQuests motivate and stimulate student, because they are provided with opportunity to confront complex and controversial real-world issues, to cope with central questions needed to be answered; to utilize the real world surrounding and recent resources on the Web provided by experts, fringe groups, scientists, etc; to assumes roles and develop expertise; to send a result to real people for receiving feedback and evaluation. (Downey & Milson 2001)
Secondly, WebQuests are designed for creating learning theory and proper teaching practice. Therefore, this approach offers benefits for teachers, because the system is based on certain elements of cognitive psychology and constructivism meaning that it provides guidance how to make students follow teacher’s instruction. Students are provided with broad range of examples, information and opinions and thus they have an opportunity to construct their own meaning or opinion based on prior knowledge and experience.
It goes without saying that WebQuests develop constructivism and critical thinking. Finally, students are allowed to work in cooperative learning groups reflecting real-life situations. Students are allowed to take on roles, to become experts on related areas, to work in groups, to utilize knowledge of real-life experience. (Downey & Milson 2001)
Clarke, J. H. (1990). Patterns of Thinking: Integrating Learning Skills in Content Teaching. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Downey, P. & Milson, A.(2001). Using Internet Resources for Cooperative Inquiry. Social Education, 65, 3, 144-146. Marzano, R. J. (1992). A different Kind of Classroom: Teaching with Dimensions of Learning. Alexandria VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Marzano, R. J. , Brandt, R. S. , Hughes, C. S. , Jones, B. F. , Presseisen, B, Z. , Rankin, S. C. , & Suhor, C. (1988). Dimensions of thinking: A framework for curriculum and instruction. Alexandria VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Sample Essay of Essayontime.com