I recently reflected on a mathematics subject I took over summer and ponded on the real life application of a WebQuest I created.
For those who may not have heard of WebQuest, it is a suite of “…activities, using Internet resources, which encourage students to use higher order thinking skills to solve a real messy problem. WebQuests are a sub-set of Problem-Based Learning (PBL)”(WebQuest, 2016). Essentially the teacher creates a set of activites which allow each student to work through, either individually or collaboratively, revise prior knowledge (PK) for a specific subject matter, expand on PK through learning new knowledge and apply this knowledge to solve a geniune and interesting problem.
The students feel engaged, a sense of freedom to self-pace, seek guidance where necessary, work collaboratively with peers and feel empowered to learn. Oh, and all whilst engaging with ICTs. Of course the activities can include good old fashion activties using pen and paper. The advantage to using an ICT like WebQuest is the teacher has collated specific activites from the Internet that will enhance learning. These activties are all within the WebQuest with the students’ not required to troll the Internet to find them. Time wasting distractions such as advertisements can be removed, passwords eliminated due to them all being on one central located set out ready for the students to work through in order. The teacher is also able to talk to the children using an avatar created from the resource called Voki.
Whilst creating the WebQuest took time initially given I had not used the program before, I would recommend trying it out. The kids love this type of ‘learning’. The learning involved multiple skills and knowledge, such as ICT, collaboration, problem solving, and of course higher order thinking strategies (HOTS). It is the HOTS that I value the most for this program. These skills align with Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Domain by creating a learning environment based on not only problem based learning but a constructivist approach. In his post Danny highlights the important of Blooms Taxonomy within mathematics and also provides a modified taxonomy which caters for the digital technologies. Check out the taxonomy, it’s a winner!
What is a WebQuest?. (2016). Webquestdirect.com.au. Retrieved 6 March 2016, from http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/whatis_awq.asp
Voki. (2016). Voki. Retrieved 6 March 2016, from http://www.voki.com/create.php