WebQuest News

News and views about the WebQuest model, a constructivist lesson format used widely around the world.

Friday, September 01, 2006

QuestGarden is One Year Old!

A year ago today I flipped the switch and opened up QuestGarden to anyone who wanted to try it out. Like the WebQuest idea itself, QuestGarden has taken off beyond my wildest expectations. We have 34356 registered users in 120 countries and more than 19000 WebQuests have been created.

For the last year I've been paying for server space and bandwidth out of pocket and doing all the work of running the service myself. As I announced at the outset, after a year QuestGarden is to become a subscription service with a fee of $20 for a 2-year subscription. The switchover was supposed to occur today, but it's taking longer than I thought to set up the payment interface, bank account and other financial mysteries.

Therefore, the date for beginning subscriptions has been moved back a month to October 1.

In spite of the low cost, I've received a surprising number of notes pleading for some exceptions to the fee. Being a flexible guy without a single strand of business acumen DNA in his body, I'm preparing a couple of alternatives to the mix. Tentatively, here they are:
  • Thirty-day free trial. If you can get your teacher-ed students through the whole process of WebQuest creation in a month, they will incur no costs. At the end of the free trial their work gets archived and can be retrieved if they subscribe.

  • Institutional accounts. A university, school or staff development entity can acquire a set of accounts to use in a workshop or class. No author names are associated with the accounts and none of the resulting WebQuests will be listed anywhere. But they'll serve as a way to introduce the concept at no cost to the participant and just a small cost to the institution.
That's what I'm thinking at this point, at least. Once there's some income coming in, I can hire some programming and logistical help to speed the progress towards QuestGarden 2.0 and provide stipends to experienced teachers to mentor novices along by providing individual feedback.

Thanks to everyone for the support and thank you notes over this inaugural year. Stay tuned for an even better set of tools during our Terrible Twos.