Constructivism: What is a WebQuest

by frances 16. February 2010 12:32

The pedagogy behind WebQuests involves PBL, Constructivism, Bloom's Higher Order Thinking Skills, Cooperative Learning, and to some extent SEL and MI.


This particular blog is about Constructivism. Here are some resources to give you an overview about this Learning Theory:


Constructivist Learning Theory : This is a paper by Prof. George E. Hein, Lesley College. Massachusetts USA in 1991. It explores the meaning and its application to museums and their exhibitions. An interesting read!




Constructivism - This site investigates a lot!!! It has definitions, and Readings from numerous authors. Don't be overwhelmed by it - just pick and choose!

Constructivist Education -This site is a blog devoting itself to looking at the Constructivist Approach and Education.


Have you any further suggestions from your own readings? Love to hear about them!

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What is a WebQuest?

Making a WebQuest: What is a WebQuest

by frances 10. February 2010 12:04

Here is an email I received yesterday (9th February 2010) from a Teacher in Rockhampton, Qld, Australia and my response:  

Hi Frances

I did a PD afternoon with you in September last year in Rockhampton (run by QSITE) on WebQuests.

Thought lots about it and considered much of the stuff you went through.

I'm more into the technical aspects (I teach ICT on it's own...and love it btw). I'm really not all that great at some of the other aspects of pedagogy.

Here's my problem. I've come up with my big question - "Should we turn the Internet off?" - a unit to exam issues like bullying, fraud, identity theft, pornography, illegal downloads (copyright) ...the list could go on

I had hoped my kids might role play (in some way) occupations like software programmer, musician, pirate (illegal seller of software etc etc).

Can you point me towards 1 or 2 webquests that might have doen this sort of thing really well, so I can get some inspiration for the nitty gritty of implementing.

Hope I'm not taking up too much of your time.


Response (9/2/10)

Hi Paul,


Good to hear from you!


This is a great topic & question! The roles are good as they are antagonistic! Put in an extreme conservative person too.


Here are some WQs (some not so good) but on your topic (well some of it):


1. What do you want to buy today - an E-Commerce WebQuest


2. Computer Science Project Research and Development Webquest:


3. Copyright & Fair Use:


4. WWW Accessibility 

5. Copyright (in Web Archive)


Some as you can see are just Web-based activities rather than solving a messy problem like you have here - but they might be of some help.


If you use SWAT then I will help you further as you go along.


I have inserted a Criteria Report so you can see the Criteria we use to compose a WQ review.


Hope this is helpful!


Looking forward to hearing from you,


Best wishes, Frances


Thanks Frances...awesome service.


I chose the model from Boise State. Perhaps missing some stuff from a webquest angle, but I like the way they addressed each of the angles.


Hope I made a good choice!!!


Thanks again





Hi Paul,


This particular WQ that you have chosen was given a rating of 3.5 and the following description by the team at WebQuest Direct (WQD):



Copyright and Fair Use WebQuest  Highly commended       


Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA); General; Library; Professional Development; University - Education; Vocational Education
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Consensus; Judgement; Research
Grade Levels: Secondary / High School; University / Tertiary; Teacher; Community; Business Training
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English

Designed for students in secondary/high school, college or university. The big question is: “What exactly is copyright and how does it apply to us?”. The task gets students to develop an understanding of copyright law and how it applies to them. To accomplish this students have to critically analyse a number of copyright scenarios and draw conclusions from a multiple of perspectives. The following questions will need to be addressed by the end: "what is meant by copyright and what is meant by fair use; what is the best way to limit district liability in regard to copyright violations; what does copyright law have to say about including copyrighted multimedia in educator and student products; and how do you get permission from the copyright owners to use their materials." The class will need to be divided into groups of four. Within each group one person will need to assume a specific role: the copyright author; the school administrator; the librarian; or the technophile. Each person is to complete a concept building map and to develop a set of guidelines for their individual role using the materials provided. Following this, students need to get together in their group and answer four focus questions. The idea is that the group come up with 3 main points for each question and record them on the worksheet provided and then share their points with the larger class. All groups are required to develop an action plan to protect copyright in schools. Resources: There are a lot of links included. Most of these links work. The worksheets are helpful for the activities. Evaluation: There is no marking Evaluation rubric, Curriculum Standards or Teacher’s Guide. Duration: looks to be one lesson of over 45 minutes - this is not enough for deep thinking. The design is professional and compliments the topic of the project. The layout is excellent. The tasks are set out clearly and are easy to follow. This project could be improved by providing students with an open-ended question, with a messy problem to solve. Last updated 2008.


It would have obtained a higher rating if


1. an Evaluation Rubric was given

2. a Teacher's Guide including Curriculum Standards

3. Longer Duration than one lesson (should be an unit as you suggested) with more Higher Order Thinking Skill activities to complete.
4. A messy problem to solve rather than a Knowledge Question



If you address these issues then you will have created a great WQ.


Let me know where and when you have finished it so I can put it into WQD.


Best wishes, Frances


Let's stop reinventing the wheel: If any of you have some advice for Paul, please post it here for him. Thanks in advance!


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What is a WebQuest? | What is a WebQuest?

What are some good Indian WebQuests?

by frances 1. February 2010 16:50

26th January was Republic Day in India - so I investigated to see if there were any good Indian WebQuests.

What I did find was some good WebQuests about India!

The following WQ is now only on the WebArchive - a pity as it could be a wonderful tool for students to learn about Indian History. Maybe one of you could convert it to an active WQ again?

The Struggle for Indian Independence: "The Movie Event of the Year"        


Key Learning Areas: English & Language Arts (ELA); HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; The Arts & Music
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Using technology; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Creative Product; Research
Grade Levels: Middle
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English

Designed for students in Years 6 - 8 studying World History. Students are given the following scenario: "You are a Bollywood film-maker who is writing and directing a film on the Indian independence movement that spans 90 years from 1857 to 1947. Adopt the role of one of the characters listed below and follow the quest to learn about your point of view during this period. Map all the important events during this time and build a story around these events with emphasis on how it affects your character: Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, or, Balgangadhar Tilak." After researching, students are to form groups. "Different groups may then come up with different scenes from the movie and enact them in the form of a skit or a musical sequence". Resources: extensive on the history of India but no resources on how to write, or script a movie in the Bollywood style; or, for a skit; or, a musical sequence. Conclusion is a quote - no call to action. Evaluation rubric is provided. Teacher's Guide is limited without reference to Curriculum Standards, or Duration; there are extension activities listed: including: A debate between the Moderates and the Extremists can be staged with different groups in class taking either side; and, create a visual poster for the film or create a collage depicting the Indian freedom struggle. Design and Layout: unfortunately hosted with Tripod so there are pop-ups that most school net nannies will block - since coming to the WebArchive, all images are lost. Last updated 2007.

Quest for Peace and Diplomacy - India - Pakistan Conflict  Silver award      


Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; The Arts & Music
Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical; Consensus; Judgement; Research
Grade Levels: Middle; Secondary / High School
Country: U.S.A. U.S.A.
Language: English

Designed for students in Years 6 - 12, although suitable for students studying International Relations, Current Affairs, Political Science, Contemporary World History in Years 9 - 12 (the reading and complexity of the issues involved makes it more suitable for older classes). Students are to investigate the India and Pakistan conflict over Kashmir since 1947. Students are to think about the following questions: "Is peace possible in the subcontinent? Why have past attempts at peace failed? Why are India and Pakistan enemies when they were once one country? Why is Kashmir so important to both countries? What is the relationship of nuclear tests by both countries to the conflict? Why is the international community concerned about what happens here? How would you design a lasting peace agreement between India and Pakistan?" The last question is the big question and forms the basis of this project. Students are given extensive background information and resources including the Simla Agreement. Student roles are to be members of one of the four delegations from: Pakistan, India, Kashmir, and the United States. Each delegation is to have a student take a viewpoint: side with Kashmiris, side with Pakistanis, side with Indians, side with Americans, be a Nuclear Non-Proliferationist or be a Human Rights Activist. After completing the research phase (extensive) the delegation are to then collaborate and create a new solution to the crisis in the subcontinent. Each delegation is to form a Peace Summit to work out their differences. Students are to write a peace proposal for consideration by the United Nations and an individual letter to a newspaper editor or a nominated web site or a Peace Organization detailing their point of view about the crisis in Kashmir.

Resources: some of the resources are now out of date: CIA Factbook for India now at: 
CIA Factbook for Pakistan at:

Evaluation: detailed rubrics are provided for 1. Delegation Collaboration; 2. Peace Proposal (Creative Solution); and, 3. Individual Letter to the Editor/Web Site/Peace Organization. Conclusion and Real World Feedback are detailed.

Teacher's Guide contains Social Studies and Information Processing and Technology Objectives. A report for teachers on this WebQuest is at:

Design and Layout: have to use the back button to get to the main navigation as it is only on the home page. As this site is hosted with a commercial company - there are pop-ups on each page. Also at: and

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What is a WebQuest?


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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!


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