WebQuests support a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach, as students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and help develop skills and attributes along with the relevant content. PBL provides 'realistic and authentic problem situations' (CQU, 2002) and aims to develop problem-solving skills, which are considered essential qualities for the individual later in life.
A well designed WebQuest caters for the needs of all learners and can be used by individuals, small groups or whole classes. They can be completed in a few lessons or used for a long term project however Learning Managers need to ensure that curriculum requirements are met through alignment with the Essential Learnings. One of the advantages of using a WebQuest compared to a more traditional approach is that there is no need for the students to waste time searching for information, it is all provided for them.
I believe that the use of WebQuests as a pedagogical tool supports Kearsley and Schneiderman's (1999) Engagement Theory and the Relate-Create-Donate components in the following way.
Relate-investigate the issues of the problem or task
Create-apply this new knowledge to the problem or task and create an authentic product
Donate-make a useful contribution back into the task (class cohort)
The following link provides an example of a WebQuest where students are required to research animals and their habitats. Although there are parts that would be beyond the students in my grade 1 class I feel that there are some good ideas for future reference Break-out at Rolling Hills WebQuest
Central Queensland University. (2002). Problem based learning: Why PBL? Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://pbl.cqu.edu.au/content/students/why_am_i_doing_pbl.htm
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from
WebQuests Direct. (2009). What is a WebQuest. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/whatis_awq.asp