The 7 Parts of a WebQuest
adapted from Building Blocks of a WebQuest
The purpose of this section is to both prepare and interest the reader. The student is the intended audience. Write a short paragraph here to introduce the Webquest activity to the students. Here is where you'll set the stage, entice your learners, and relate the experience to the overall unit theme. This section should be constructed to motivate your learners to participate. It is also in this section that you'll communicate the Big Question (Essential Question, Guiding Question) that the whole WebQuest is centered around.

Notice how the introduction accomplished its goals in the following WebQuests: 

  • Millionaire - A WebQuest for 7th grade mathematics. It asks the students to research how they would invest $10,000. As a team of stock market analysts, they must calculate their gains and losses over time.
  • Finding the Lighthouse Diamond Thief by Using the Scientific Method - It was a dark and dreadful night when they discovered the disappearance of the priceless Lighthouse Diamond. As a team, the investigators must review the clues, compare notes and find the criminal.

The task focuses learners on what they are going to do - specifically, the culminating performance or product that drives all of the learning activities. Describe succinctly and clearly what the end result of the learners' activities will be. Do not list the steps that students will go through to get to the end point, that belongs in the Process section. 

For example, look at the Task sections of these pages: 

  • New Twist on an Old Tale - Your team has decided that the tale of Cinderella would be a great story through which the Ancient Greek culture could be portrayed. Your group's job is to write a Cinderella story that would have been told in Ancient Greece. Using the Internet resources provided, you will construct a children's book complete with pictures that are specific to the Ancient Greek culture.
  • In Searching for China, by Tom March, students create a report that synthesizes their findings about China.

This section outlines how the learners will accomplish the task. This section includes each step to be followed, student’s roles, and tools for organizing information. To accomplish the task, what steps should the learners go through? In this section, you should also provide some guidance on how to organize the information gathered.

The Process description should be relatively short and clear:

  • Week 1 of Cheryl Rondestvedt's Ocean Pollution/Solution unit involves students doing a lot of activities, but the steps are clearly specified. Note that in this case, the resources needed are embedded within the steps rather than being separately listed.

This section explains the use of the resources page and provides a link to the Resources page. Learners will access the on-line resources that you've identified as they go through the Process.

  • Traveling to Poznan, Poland, is the resources page for the demo shared in class. This resource page is unique for WebQuests. You will want to include all of the reference material listed on the page. Remember that although this demonstration page has over 20 references, you only need to list a minimum of 10 references.

This section describes the evaluation criteria needed to meet performance and content standards. Describe to the learners how their performance will be evaluated. The assessment rubric(s) or checklist should align with the culminating project or performance, as outlined in the task section of the WebQuest. Explain the grading process and provide a link to the Evaluation page. Identify whether there will be a common grade for group work vs. individual grades.

Here's an example:

  • In the San Diego-Biarritz Comparison Unit by Susanne Hirsch, Janice Thiel developed a rubric for evaluating the web pages created in French by the students. The rubric examines six different aspects of the student product and establishes four benchmarks for each aspect. It's intended to be printed out and given to the evaluators who could be teachers, parents or peers. 

The conclusion brings closure and encourages reflection. Summarize what the learners will have accomplished or learned by completing this activity or lesson. Include some rhetorical questions to encourage them to extend their thinking into other content beyond this lesson.

  • In The 1960's Museum, for example, Kathy Schrock asks learners to think about the sites they had visited and discern any biases represented at those sites. She also asks the learners to predict the reaction their own creations will receive once posted on the Web. 
Teacher Page

A WebQuest is designed for students to complete, yet there are many fine points that a teacher must understand to properly support the students' success in the activity. The Teacher Page is where the teaching hints are located. For the purpose of this class, this is where you will answer 5 reflection questions. Traveling to Poznan, Poland Teacher Page

Introduction to WebQuests

Updated: September 17, 2009