I have frequently made use of webquests in my classroom but I have yet to create a genuine, on-line webquest. Most often when I develop an online research activity, I will generate my own “infant webquest” on my classroom blog- simply outlining websites students need to go to accomplish the learning outcomes. It was a valuable exercise to create my own webquest- I’m glad I did it! I am especially glad because I know that I will use my webquest with my students in the fall. Earlier this year I completed a similar activity, with students completing research and then creating proposals for the Mayor. I really liked the idea, and the kids were so enthusiastic about it…but I felt like it lacked the structure it needed. I also felt like the kids struggled to develop meaningful and deep understandings of the forms of energy. I think this outline will lead them to deeper comprehension, and I really like the twist on it- having students take on different roles. This deepens the entire learning experience.
I found QuestGarden to be very user-friendly, with a couple exceptions. I appreciated the step-by-step guidance through the creation of the webquest. I think this makes webquest-creation very accessible to any teacher willing to give it a try. I also liked the little “Advice” and “Alert” boxes which provided useful examples of what each section should look like. I find some of their formatting a bit finicky and think they could take a couple lessons from WordPress or Blogger in that regard. Inserting, moving, and adjusting images was not easy as it should be, in my opinion. Now that I have created a webquest with the guidance of QuestGarden, I think I would likely just use a WordPress blog to host the next one.
Overall, a positive and practical experience! I look forward to taking my webquest for a test drive with my new Grade 6 students in the fall! Here is the link…Fueling Regina: An Energized Webquest.