In education, a WebQuest is a research activity in which students read, analyze, and synthesize information using the World Wide Web. Webquests were invented by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University in 1995.
According to the original paper by Dodge [1], a WebQuest is "an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing."
The WebQuest is valued as a highly constructivist teaching method, during which students actively build their own understanding of a topic. "Authentic," or real-world questions or problems are often researched, and students work cooperatively to find solutions. Instructors can target the rigor of the activity to challenge students by varying the level of abstraction of questions as defined by Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Relevance of instructional material is addressed by using Internet based news resources to infuse current events into the lesson.
Usually, the quest is divided in the following sections:
  • Introduction
  • Task
  • Process
  • Evaluation
  • Conclusion
  • Teacher Page
Students typically complete WebQuests in cooperative groups. Each student in each group then has a "role," or specific area to research. WebQuests often take the form of role-playing scenarios, where students take on the personas of professional researchers or historical figures.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebQuest)


PMI on Webquests:
Plus: Individual or collaborative education is a focus; using problem based learning or contextual learning
Minus: requires access to computers for multiple lessons
Interesting: a variety of learning techniques catering for various learning styles


General Links on Constructing your own:
Instant Projects - very easy to use - free - http://instantprojects.org/webquest/main.php
Webquest Building Blocks - http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/staffdev/buildingblocks/p-index.htm
Webquests Templates - http://www.spa3.k12.sc.us/WebQuestTemplate/webquesttemp.htm#Overview

Commercial Sites:
http://questgarden.com/ Template program for designing webquests - $20 (US) online

Links:
Selecting a Webquest - http://webquest.sdsu.edu/project-selection.html
270 Science Webquests - http://instantprojects.org/webquest/science.php?cmd=resetall
Science Webquests -
Not really science - it is social science - but it is a great example for a year 12 class -
http://www.web-and-flow.com/members/lhayman/globalization/webquest.htm

Middle School Webquests
Research Biomes -
http://www.dowslane.org/biomeweb.html
http://coe.west.asu.edu/students/micheles/biomes/index.htm

Greenhouse Worksheet


Space Webquests:
Space Colony Webquest
http://www.coollessons.org/spacecolony.htm#INTERPLANETARY_SURVEYOR
Space Doctor Game (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/playspace/games/spacedoctor/)
Rocketry http://www.spacegrant.hawaii.edu/class_acts/GravityRocketDoc.html

NASA - International Space Station Plant Research Webquest
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/events/cotf/webquest/index.html#introduction

Environmental Mysteries
http://enviromysteries.thinkport.org/ (addition by James Nixon)