WebQuest Design Patterns

This is a list of patterns derived from existing WebQuests that are instructionally solid. To qualify as a design pattern, the lesson should be easily modified to cover different content while using the same basic structure. Each pattern is distinct from the others in terms of the kinds of content it can be used for, and the organization of the Introduction, Task, Process and Evaluation sections. Over time, we'll be adding templates that are specific to each design pattern, thus making it easy to hit the ground running when starting to create a new WebQuest.

All the patterns can be seen on a single page as well.

Applicable Patterns

Ideas, Concepts and Values

Can you look at information and analyze it for bias?

Can you clarify abstract concepts by looking at examples and identifying how they are similar?

Can you look at how change occurs in society and plan new change?

Can you look at different value systems or philosophies by having students act like those who held those values in a meeting of minds?

Can you demonstrate the clash of ideas by putting someone on trial?

Ask your students to create a persuasive message, a policy briefing or a recommendation?


Can you ask your students to write a simulated diary, or two parallel diaries from different times or places?

Can they design a commemorative for an outstanding individual, or create an exhibit of their work?

Have them act out the views of a number of people in a meeting of minds?

Other Places Can they learn about a place by planning a trip, or writing an account as if they'd taken the trip?
Other Times

Can they write an Alternative History that takes things down a different path?

Can they fictionalize another era by writing an historical story?

Can you ask your students to write a simulated diary, or two parallel diaries from different times or places?

Can they distill a particular time and place by designing a time capsule?


Can they design something while working within realistic constraints?

Organize their knowledge of a topic by creating an exhibit or compilation?

Modes of Expression

Can they learn to persuade others by taking on a role with an opinion?

Can they look for bias or create within a genre? Go behind the book to develop a better understanding of its setting? Go beyond the book to extend it to other settings, formats or points of view?