Webquest is a didactic model which consists of a guided investigation where most of the information comes from Internet . The concept was proposed by Bernie Dodge (researcher of the San Diego State University ) in 1995 .
This type of activity, affirm its drivers, promotes work in equipment, the autonomy of students and the use of higher cognitive skills. It also helps students acquire skills related to society of Information (concept that refers to the era that the human being is going through today, with unprecedented access to information, both for its dissemination and consumption).
The webquest usually proposes chores attractive that invite the student to adopt an active behavior. He creative thinking It is necessary for the resolution of the problems and for the analysis of the statements, since the activity requires an additional effort to answer a simple question.
The first step to develop a webquest requires a space on the Internet, either from the development of a website, a blog or some similar publication. The teacher must include an introduction to the project, the task to be developed, the suggested resources and an evaluation, among other sections.
A webquest can be of short duration (when he has the objective of the acquisition and integration of knowledge of a subject in the short term) or of Long duration (When the student is expected to develop skills of deduction, induction and abstraction).
It is important to distinguish between the webquest and the so-called treasure hunting. While in the first activity the student must transform and process the information , in the treasure hunt you are simply asked to find the answer to a given question.
Despite their usefulness, webquests represent one of the many tools that teachers have at their disposal and are not suitable to achieve any educational objective. Specifically, they are ineffective for memorizing historical facts, for learning simple procedures and for acquiring new definitions.
To successfully complete a webquest it is necessary to have a good level of understanding reader; therefore, they are not appropriate for younger students or for those who have difficulties in language use. However, it is possible to take advantage of the assistance of adults willing to read the statements and information aloud, to guide children who cannot complete the activities themselves.
In technical terms, a webquest is nothing more than a simple web page, so the tools necessary for its development are the same as those used to create any other type of document for the Network. The most advanced users, who rely on Your knowledge enough to not require constant assistance when programming, usually use the notebook included in your system operational or similar applications to Notepad ++, an open source text editor very popular among programmers of all languages.
For those who appreciate the security provided by a syntax reviewer there are several programs, such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver, that allow the creation of web pages in a short time and through graphic interfaces, which eliminate the need to program each line of code, and save time for those who value aesthetics more than accuracy.
There are also sites that are dedicated specifically to the creation of webquests, such as Questgarden and Zunal, which guide their users step by step in the process. On the other hand, teachers can make use of the numerous services of free pages and blogs, and adapt them to the webquest format; Two very visited providers for this purpose are WordPress and Edublogs.