Friday, April 13, 2012

The role of WebQuests in learning a foreign/second language

WebQuests  incorporate cooperative and collaborative learning, since students work on projects in groups. These concepts can play a role in teaching with Webquests. 
WebQuests can also help students meet standards focused on critical-thinking and analysis skills, and may be particularly useful for social studies and science. By using multimedia, WebQuests also help with multiple intelligence work. Alternative kinds of assessment can be used to judge the results of WebQuest projects. And, obviously, WebQuests are one way to use the Internet in education, and it also can be used to develop critical thinking skills among students to learn foreign language. 
WebQuest can promote critical thinking because it requires each member of the group to carry out a specific, meaningful role, and then pool their respective research findings to formulate a response to a complex, open-ended problem.  there can be multiple solutions to the problem in a Webquest. A good Webquest focuses on an issue that has multiple viewpoints, such as social, political, environmental, or health-related. It also requires more than information gathering; students must process the information in order to form their opinions.
WebQuests help develop higher cognitive thinking by requiring students to sift through extensive information from the Web until they can construct an understanding that not only connects to their schema, but also builds new knowledge .

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 video conferencing .
This tool allows learners to complete various tasks using other Cognitive tools (e.g. Inspiration, MS Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, and Publisher).

The conclusion When students are motivated they not only put in more effort, but their minds are more alert and ready to make connections. Webquests use several strategies to increase student motivation. First, Webquests use a central question that honestly needs answering.
The second feature of Webquests that increase student motivation is that students are given real resources to work with.

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