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Web 2 Quests 0001

Web 2 Quests 0001

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Published by fskurt
A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. WebQuest is a popular inquiry-oriented activity in which learners use Web resources. Since the creation of the innovation, almost 15 years ago, the Web has changed significantly, while the WebQuest technique has changed little. This article examines possible applications of new Web trends on WebQuest instructional strategy. Some possible integration ideas of new Web trends into the WebQuest method are discussed.
A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. WebQuest is a popular inquiry-oriented activity in which learners use Web resources. Since the creation of the innovation, almost 15 years ago, the Web has changed significantly, while the WebQuest technique has changed little. This article examines possible applications of new Web trends on WebQuest instructional strategy. Some possible integration ideas of new Web trends into the WebQuest method are discussed.

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Web2Quests
Updating
a
PopularWeb-BasedInquiry-OrientedActivity
SerhatKurt
WebQuestisapopularinquiry-orientedactivityin whichlearnersuseWebresources.Sincethecreation oftheinnovation,almost15yearsago,theWebhas changedsignificantly,whiletheWebQuesttechnique haschangedlittle.Thisarticleexaminespossibleappli- cationsofnewWebtrendsonWebQuestinstructional strategy.SomepossibleintegrationideasofnewWeb trendsintotheWebQuestmethodarediscussed.
Introduction
Technologyisanacceptedpartofourlives.Ascountries continuetoinvestintechnologyandplaceeducational technologyinschools,teachersareexpectedtoadopt thetechnologyintotheirteaching.Oneparticular exampleistheInternetand,morespecifically,theWorld WideWeb(Web).TheWebhasbroughtnewpossibilities forteachingandlearning.WebQuestsareamongthe mostwidelyusedmethodsby
K-16
educatorsasastrat- egyforintegratingtheWebintoclassroominstruction. TheWebQuesttechniquewascreatedbyBernieDodge in1995withearlyinputfromTomMarch.AWebQuest hasbeendefinedas"aninquiry-orientedactivityinwhich someoralloftheinformationthatlearnersinteractwith comesfromresourcesontheInternet"(Dodge,1997). Thistechniqueusuallyrequiresstudentstoworkin groupsandreliesheavilyoninformationsourcesonthe Web.StudentsareguidedtovisitappropriateWeb resourcestolookforinformation.
It
involves,though, muchmorethansimplysearchingformaterial. AWebQuestusuallyincludes
sixsteps:
(a)theintroduc- tion-includesbackgroundinformationaboutthetopic; (b)thetask-givesageneraldescriptionofanassigned taskforthelearners;(e)informationsources-includes mostlyWebsitesthatstudentscaninvestigatetocomplete thetask;(d)adescriptionoftheprocess--explainsstep- by-stepproceduresforlearnerstofollowinorderto completethetask;(e)performanceevaluation-contains
SerhatKurt
isAssistantProfessorintheSchoolofEducationat AtaturkUniversity,Erzurum,Turkey(e-mail:fskurt@gmail.com).
evaluationcriteriatobeusedtoassessstudents'work· and
(f)
theconclusion-consistsofanexplanationofwhat thelearnerslearned.WebQuestscanbeashort-term(one tothreeclassperiods)oralong-term(oneweektoa month)activity.TheWebQuestscanbedesignedwithina singledisciplineorbeinterdisciplinary(Dodge,1997). WebQuestshavebecomeverypopularsincethey wereintroducedin1995,havebeenthesubjectof numerousjournalandmagazinearticles,andhave beenwidelyadoptedin
K-16
education(Zheng
eta/.,
2008).TeachershavecreatednumerousWebQuestsfor allgradelevels
(WebQuest.org,
2007).Asimple "WebQuest"Googlesearchyieldsthousandsof WebQuestsalreadydesignedbyeducators. Oneimportantpointtomentionisthatwhilebeing appliedtoawidevarietyofdifferenteducationalsettings, theWebQuesttechniquehaschangedlittle(Abbit& Ophus,2008).SincethecreationofWebQuests,how- ever,theWebhaschangedalot,shiftingfromWeb1.0 toWeb2.0.Thisarticledefinespossibleimplicationsof newWebapproaches(Web2.0)onWebQuests.
Web2.0
Web1.0wasthefirstandWeb2.0isthenextphase oftheInternet.Web1.0andWeb2.0differonhow theypresentinformation.AlthoughWeb1.0wasmostly aboutretrievinginformation,Web2.0representsamore collaborative,interactive,anduser-focusedapproach. Coombs(2007)statesthatWeb2.0is"transformingthe Webintoaspacethatallowsanyonetocreateand shareinformationonline-aspaceforcollaboration, conversation,andinteraction;aspacethatishighly dynamic,flexible,andadaptable"
(p,
17).Web2.0offersnewtrendsandservices.Someofthese arewikis,blogs,multimediasharing,podcasting,and socialnetworking.Internetusersnoweasilybuild pages,sharephotosandvideos,andinteractwitheach other.Theseusersaregeneratingmostofthecontentby uploadingvideos,pictures,andothermedia,participat- ingindiscussions(forinstance,makingcommentson others'writings,videos,pictures),andwriting(blogging, wikis,etc.).ThisiswhymanycallWeb2.0amore user-poweredanddemocraticapproachthanWeb1.0. Inadditiontothenewfunctionalitiesdescribedabove, withWeb2.0,anewdesignstylewasintroduced.This styleisamoreeasilyusedapproach.Inthisstyle,special attentionisgiventousability,makingWebsitedesigns easytobrowseforInternetusers.Thisincludespresenting informationinaclearwayandnotcausingconfusionfor theusers.Presentingcontentisverystraightforward. Usersdonotspendtimetryingtofindwhattheyare lookingforfromcomplicatedWebsitelayouts.Usually,in thislayout,thereiscontentcenteredinoneortwo columns,largetexts,plentyofwhitespacetodirect attentiontothecontent,fewergraphicsbutmoresmall icons,andsolidareasofdifferentcontentsections.
EDUCATIONALTECHNOlOGY/September-October2009
35
 
Web2.0typesofsiteshavebecomeverypopular, especiallyamongyoungpeople.Forinstance,morethan 55%ofallAmericansonlinebetweentheagesof12to17 useonlinesocialnetworkingsites(pewInternet,2007). Likewise,aU.K.governmentagency,BECTA(2008) reportedthat78%ofstudentssurveyed,aged11-16, reportedhavinguploadedpictures,video,ormusictothe Web,and74%ofthosestudentshavesocialnetworking accounts(BECTA,2008).Themajorityofstudentsare activelyparticipatingasusersinWeb2.0trendsbecause theyenjoywhattheseWeb2.0siteshavetoofferthem. Thepossibilityofusingblogsandwikisinthe WebQuestmodelhasbeenproposed
(WebQuest.org,
2007).
In
fact,Dodge(2007)seesthefutureofthis techniqueasanincorporationofWeb2.0trendswith WebQuests.However,mostofthecurrentWebQuests, ifnotall,couldbefoundtocarryonlyverybasiccharac- teristicsofWeb1.0intermsoffunctionalityanddesign. TheseWebQuestsdonotinteractwithlearners. OneofthemajorweaknessesofthecurrentWebQuests isthatthedesignstructureofthismethodisnotinterac- tivewithlearners.Interactivityheremeanstheextentto whichlearnerscanactivelyparticipateintheprocess andcollaboratewithotherlearners.Thatmeansthistech- niquereliesheavilyonwrittencontent.
It
doesnot fullytakeadvantageofcurrentWebtechnologies,which mayincreaseinteractivityandlearners'engagement dramatically.WebQuestsshouldembracethebenefits ofWeb2.0inordertoengagetoday'slearnerswiththe informationweintroducethroughthismethod.
UseofBlogsinWebQuests:BlogQuests
BlogQuestheremeansuseofblogsinWebQuests.A blogcanbedefinedasanonlinejournal.Blogsmake onlinepublishingveryeasy.Tocreateablog,anonline service(e.g.,
blogger.com)
orsoftware(e.g.,
wordpress. org)
canbeused.Bloguserscreatecontentviaan Internetbrowserwithoutneedingmuchtechnicalknowl- edge.Blogsincreasecollaborationandcriticalthinking throughtheirfeedbacksystems.Ablogcanbeauthored individuallyorasagroup.Blogsareprimarilytextual, butpictures,ideas,andaudiocaneasilybeadded. BlogscanbeintegratedintoWebQuests.Forexample, (a)ablogserviceorblogsoftwarecanbeusedtocreate interactiveandeffectiveWebQuestseasierandfasterthan designingWebQuestsusingtraditionalmethods;(b) BlogQuestsenablestudentstocollaborateontheInternet, forexample,learnerscanpublishquestionstheycome acrossatanypointwhilecompletingWebQuesttasks, andothergroupmembersorteacherscanrespond;(c) studentsmaykeepblogjournalsduringtheirWebQuest activities;and(d)blogshaveamodularstructure. Thismeansthatmanydynamicfeaturescanbeeasily addedinadditiontostandardfeatures.Someofthese are:polls,picturegalleries,anddiscussionboards.
UseofWikisinWebQuests:WikiQuests
SimilartothedefinitionofBlogQuests,WikiQuest heremeansuseofwikisinWebQuests.Awikiisa Webpagewithcontentthatanybodycanaddto,edit, ordelete.Wikiscanbepublic-accessibletoevery- one-orprivate-justforpeoplewhohaveregistered. Wikisprovideuniquecollaborativeopportunities. Groupscancollaborativelyworkonthecontentofasite usingastandardWebbrowser.Whenagroupmember makesachange,theoldversionisstoredandcanbe restoredatanytimeifnecessary.Therecanbea reviewprocessimplementedbeforesomethingnewis postedonline.Everypagemayhaveaseparatetalkarea todiscussproposedimprovementstothepage. Wikiscanalsobeusedinimplementingordesigning WebQuests.Someofthewaystheycanbeusedare (a)learners/teachersingroupscancollaborativelycreate WebQuestsusingwikisontheInternet;(b)wikis,apart fromtheWebQuestsiteitself,canbeutilizedforlearners tomanageandorganizeinformation,shareresources, makedecisions,anddiscussworkduringtheWebQuest activities;(c)WebQuestsmayincludeprojectsortasks thatcouldbedonebetterusingwikis,suchascollabora- tivelycreatingaclassnewspaper;and(d)teacherscan monitorstudents'activities.Wikishavearevisionhistory feature.Thismeanswheneverthereisachange,wiki savesthebeforeandafterversions.Thisletsteacherssee theprogressionofthecontentstudentsarecreating.
HelpfromRssFeeds
RssstandsforReallySimpleSyndication.Rssisused forsharingWebcontent.Howthisworksisthatasite's contentscaneasilybesyndicatedasanrssfeedto whoeverwantsit.Thisisespeciallyusefulfor frequentlyupdatedcontent,asitallowssitereadersto stayinformed.Rssfeedscanbereadusingrssreader software,whichcanbeWeb-basedordesktop-based. Someofthepopularfeedreaderscanbefoundat
newsgator.com,feedreaders.com,
and
google.com/ reader!.
Today,manypopularmediasites(e.g.,news- papersites,socialnetworkingsites,videoandpicture sharingsites,etc.)andmanyacademicsites(e.g., articledatabasessuchasERIC)haverssfeedsthatcan beusedforeducationalpurposes. Manyblogandwikitoolshavetherssfeedfeature builtintosyndicatecontent,andanrssreadercanalso beaddedeasilyasaseparatemodule.Rsscanincrease theeffectivenessofBlogQuestsandWikiQuests.Rsscan beimplementedinanumberofways.Someofthese are:(a)educatorscancreateautomaticallyupdating WebQuestswiththehelpofrss(forinstance,anrss collectioncanbeusedforthe
informationsources
partoftheWebQuests,suchassyndicatingrecently publishedarticlesfromtheERICdatabase);(b)teachers
36
EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGY/September-October2009

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