Preamble: At first, I have to admit that I had a hard time seeing the use for WebQuests in the classroom. Looking a little deeper, I now understand that this is a pretty neat platform to make paper exercises digital. Not only that, but it gives an instructor the ability to compile an assignment with instruction, resources while giving context using digital information. This all in one online platform invites collaboration and allows the instructor to check in on student progress.
I wanted to investigate the use of WebQuests as a tool to engage students in pre and post learning aligned with a field trip. I didn’t see anything like that online.
Community education sites looking to improve their connection to school groups before or after a site visit could use WebQuests. Pre and post work could be customized to site-based curriculum, and site experts could become virtual educators, involved in a distance education relationship with the students. What a great way to ‘add value” to a field trip!
For example, if a class was visiting Fort Whyte Alive to do a pond study, they could use a WebQuest to learn about aquatic invertebrates ahead of time, and then follow up afterward with a comparison of the study in a different season.
WebQuests could really impact learning by: deepening connection, advancing appreciation for the places students’ and teachers’ visit and strengthening their own sense of place in the community.
I think a major problem with field trips is that students and teachers don’t take or have the necessary time to explore the places they visit ahead of time or follow up afterward.
A WebQuest could better prepare students and teachers for learning and alleviate the distraction of just being out of the classroom.