December 2006, Volume 6, Issue 9
Webquests for Adults

From "A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge with Tom March, and was outlined then in Some Thoughts About WebQuests."

 A Google search will list thousands of Webquests designed by teachers and written for students to navigate on their own. Webquests have a predictable format: Introduction, The Task, Resources, Process, Guidance and Conclusion. Following are resources you and your students are bound to enjoy!

ons/goals/index.htm - Goal Reaching Process - "Research career options, formulate a concrete and measurable goal. Design a plan for attaining your goal. Nice reading level and very simple instructions. A couple of links are outdated, but that won't interfere with the project." - A list of ESOL Quests presented at TESOL 2002, 2003, for a PCI in 2004. Not for beginning ESL, but lots of fun for intermediate and advanced. - Famous Hispanic Americans. - Written for ABE students - "Easter is a special time of year celebrated in many different ways around the world.  Come on a WebQuest journey to find out how and why Australians celebrate Easter." (GED level) - In this WebQuest, you will be looking at several creation myths from different cultures in order to answer the question, "Do creation myths influence the beliefs of a society?" - A WebQuest for Numeracy/Literacy Students (from Australia) - I thought it was a fun task! "You are to present a portfolio of information which demonstrates your research on Dubbo. You will create a well planned itinerary for your holiday including where you will stay and places you will visit. You will also make up a table of estimated costs within the budget allowed."  - Ellis Island Quest - "Most people in America today are from families that came from somewhere else. The United States is a nation of immigrants and the immigration process is part of their heritage.In the following WebQuest, you will adopt one of two roles: the role of a new immigrant, or the role of an immigration officer. Your goal is to write a page from your diary about this experience." - WebQuest Taskonomy: A Taxonomy of Tasks - "A well designed task is doable and engaging, and elicits thinking in learners that goes beyond rote comprehension." - Several tasks written mostly by adult ed students in Cortez, CO - Northeast SABES Education Bookmarks - This site has a few WebQuests listed but not described. It also has a huge list of other captivating bookmarks if you have time to browse. - "The problem is to build a paper airplane that will fly for the longest time. The plane can be made only from one sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" recycled copy paper and less than 1/2" of tape.  Your name will be clearly visible on the plane. No other materials, such as paper clips, may be used." -- I found the reading level very reasonable along with explanations. ABE with high interest in technology and hands-on learning, but may need a partner or help. - "This web-based unit will introduce students to strategies and real-life practice activities for applying problem-solving skills. They will become familiar with eight strategies and will practice using these strategies to use the Internet to obtain information, analyze data, make decisions, and apply problem-solving skills to find solutions to real-life situations." A little wordy, but the activities are great. - Well developed and engaging Quest on Paper or Plastic - An Internet WebQuest on Recycling! Designed for third graders but I did not find it childish at all! - "It is your job in this WebQuest to invent a new machine.  Not just any machine, but a compound machine based on the work of Rube Goldberg." Nice reading level for ABE or high ESL.

Go to Google, and type in "anything" Webquests, and start exploring. Your need for creating lesson plans from scratch may be gone!

We need more WebQuests for beginning ESL students. Send me the content, and I'll post it for you!


About four years ago, I invented WebTasks. WebTasks integrate reading, writing, math and technology into a project. The WebTask format is simple: follow the steps to complete the project. WebTasks are designed for adult learners who are not likely to take a WebQuest to completion because of limited time constraints. Some of the tasks on the site below are outdated since they focused on computer technology, which has since advanced. However, your learners may find a few projects of interest. Written at approximately 6th grade reading level, with definitions linked to words that might be difficult for ABE students. The objectives are stated up front, along with a link to rubrics so that students will know what is expected. I haven't checked the links for awhile, so let me know if you find some missing.

Your Turn

Once you get the gist of WebQuests or Task, send me a Word or .txt document with your creation. I'll format it and publish it for you on the Internet so that everyone can use it!

Following the structure you examined, send me the following for a WebQuest.:

  1. Introduction,

  2. Task (s)

  3. Procedure or Steps

  4. Resources

  5. Rubrics/Evaluation

  6. Optional Teacher Page.

I guarantee that your students, ABE, GED, ESL, Family Literacy or their aunts and cousins will love you for it. Besides, you'll love creating one or more!

See you at Rendezvous 2007 in February!