Once you have figured out the instructional objectives for your webquest, what elements should that quest have to be effective? A well-designed webquest will include at least the following three elements:
- A "road map" - This is the list of websites or locations, which you want your students to visit. This section should include an introduction that explains the purpose of the webquest and the object of the search, hunt, or other "hook" that you’ve built into your quest. If your final project requires students to use a site(s) on the Internet, be sure to list all sites on the road map. Design your map carefully! Clarity here will help your students understand the quest and stay on task.
- A task sheet - This sheet could also be available online (wiki, blog, or website). Depending on the structure of your quest, this sheet/site could be a scoring mechanism, answer sheet, or even a list of clues. Regardless of the precise structure, however, this sheet/site is used to record the results of the quest. There may be one sheet per student or one per group, depending on how you want students to complete the assignment. If you choose to post it online, all students will have unlimited access and parents can also see what is going on in class!
- A summary presentation - Good webquests require students to show what they have learned. Age, ability, time, and circumstances will all govern how much latitude you give your students in presenting their findings. Remember, though, that the web is a multimedia tool, and if you can allow students a wide range of flexibility in presenting their findings, you will carry this approach back into the classroom long after the computers are turned off. For some project ideas, be sure to view the Presenting Results page.