Making WebQuests more Exciting
Thanks to Technorati, I've got a pretty far-ranging radar that tells me when anyone writes something new with the word "WebQuest" in it. Here's a quote that caught my eye today:
Blog, Blog, Fo-fog, Banana-ana-bo-blog, fe-fi-mo-mog....BLLLOOOOGGG: Webquest for the holy grade.: "Here I am sitting at work, getting paid to blog about webquests. Exciting, isn't it? Anyway, what is there to say about webquests? Personally, I am not a huge fan of webquests. To most webquests are just electronic busy work. While some are very beneficial, most that I have experienced are lacking something. I don't know what it is for sure, but I think that they are all kind of boring. With a name like WEBQUEST, I expect some kind of adventure. What do I get? Overly structured clicking and reading. Maybe my distaste for webquests come some being raised in the generation of lights, sounds, and video game violence, but when I look at webquests I am looking for an actual quest. I do still understand the practical nature of the webquests, but consider them to be a less-than-desirable alternative to hands on learning. To appeal to the future masses of students I believe webquests need to drastically change. To excite is to entertain, to entertain is to captivate, to captivate is to inspire, to inspire is to teach."
Spoken like a true millennial learner, I suppose. It's true that most WebQuests are boring, but I think that's because they aren't really well designed, not because they don't have flashy graphics and interactivity. I'd like to think that getting engaged in a problem that requires synthesis and problem-solving is motivating in a deep and useful way that goes beyond Prensky's arcade-game type learning. And given that right from the start the goal was to develop a lesson format that any teacher could author, there's no way that WebQuests can look like Halo 2.
But what can be done to make WebQuest cooler? Any ideas out there? Please add your thoughts to the comments.