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Developing and Implementing WebQuests*
 
Course Description
    

This workshop is designed for K - 12 teachers as an inquiry-based instructional tool for classroom use. Participants will create a web-based lesson for students that utilizes higher-order thinking skills, collaborative learning, and pertains to a unit or lesson from their curriculum. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in implementing technology in the classroom.

* Participants in this course must be currently employed as a classroom teacher, school counselor or school administrator. Paraprofessionals must be currently employed as a full-time classroom aide.  

 
Course Syllabus
    

 

Developing and Implementing WebQuests

Catalog Description

This workshop is designed for K - 12 teachers as an inquiry-based instructional tool for classroom use. Participants will create a web-based lesson for students that utilizes higher-order thinking skills, collaborative learning, and pertains to a unit or lesson from their curriculum. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in implementing technology in the classroom.

The course provides informational articles, resources and activities to foster participants' learning how to utilize webquests as an instructional tool in their classes.  The course consists of six sessions plus an Orientation during which participants actively investigate tools and resources as they plan a webquest for use in their classroom instruction. 

Prerequisites

This is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists and administrators.  Participants are expected to have regular access to computers.  Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience.  Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating through computer files.  Access to Microsoft Office is recommended.  Participants who do not have access to Microsoft Office should download Open Office documents (a free download from Microsoft) to enable them to read and send word documents throughout this course. 

Goals

This course will enable participants to:   

  • describe components of an effective WebQuest,
  • design an effective WebQuest ,
  • assess a WebQuest completed by students, and 
  • integrate a WebQuest into a curriculum unit. 

Assessment and Course Requirements

Each session includes readings, activities and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete.  High-quality, active participation in the online discussions is vital to the understanding and completion of the course.  Additionally, participants will develop portions of a webquest during each week’s session culminating in a useful tool for their students.  Weekly assignments address sections of this webquest, sharing of ideas and resources as well as relevant readings and discussions as participants build their webquest.    A  Project Rubric to guide product development is provided in Session One.

Course Products

The project for this course is a WebQuest using the template included in Session One.  Each session will focus on a portion of the WebQuest.  A mid-course check will be a partially completed WebQuest Template (Sessions One, Two and Three completed) submitted by the end of Session Three.  At the end of Session Six, the completed WebQuest will be created online at http://www.sunal.com and shared with course participants for peer review.  A rubric is provided in Session One to guide WebQuest development. 

Discussion Participation

Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum.  Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new and relevant thread and two that respond and add to and extend existing threads.  Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.  Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance and the degree to which they extend the discussion.  Participants are to read all original messages by course colleagues and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. 

Sessions Overview:

Session One:  What is a WebQuest?

In Session One, participants will investigate the instructional purposes of a WebQuest, identify the common elements of a WebQuest, and examine exemplary WebQuests that promote higher order thinking skills.  Participants will also create a free account at zunal.com for the course project, which is creating an online WebQuest. 

Session Two:  Components of WebQuests

In Session Two, participants will explore the advantages offered by a WebQuest and the five elements of a WebQuest.  One advantage offered by a WebQuest is the understanding of a topic rather than the accumulation of isolated information.  Participants will also begin to plan a WebQuest for use in the classroom.

Session Three: Assessing a WebQuest

In this session participants will explore the authentic assessment of student WebQuests. Authentic assessments enable teachers to evaluate student knowledge of tasks in 21st Century contexts.  21st Century assessments focus on higher-order thinking skills and the ability of students to use the knowledge gained in analyzing problems, working collaboratively, and demonstrating the skills learned.  Participants will investigate several tools for creating rubrics to assess learning authentically. After evaluating the tools, participants will discuss challenges to authentic assessments in the classroom.

Session Four: Selecting a Project and Finding Resources

In this session participants will finalize a topic, define an end product or culminating task for students, and begin researching resources for student use.  Participants will consider WV 21st Century Learning Skills, WV 21st Century Technology Tools, and curriculum goals to be achieved.

Session Five: The Process Section

In this session participants will identify the steps students will use to accomplish the task of the WebQuest.  This section will include the online resources and scaffolding for organization of information collected by students.

Session Six: Creating a WebQuest - Exploring an Online Tool

In this session participants will explore a free, online tool used to create WebQuests. Participants will create their online WebQuest at zunal.com.  In Session Six participants will post the weblink to their WebQuest, the final course project, for peer review