by Diah Fakhmawati
Expert Educator Columnist, Indonesia
Internet for language learning provides many benefits such as providing intrinsic motivation to students, giving authentic material resources, and improving reading and writing skills. One of language learning program utilizing internet is WebQuest. Webquest is mini-projects in which a large percentage of the input and material is supplied from the internet. It is an inquiry lesson plan that requires students to express, apply, and present information which they obtain from internet. Webquest is potential for second language learning because as a pedagogical strategy, it provides the students a chance to use the target language in form of reading web pages which can develop students critical thinking and writing production of task. Webquests is related to task-based learning, as the students have to deal with amount of specific information on the web and perform a task. The task is a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language. In frame of task-based learning, webquest offers chances to students to learn certain or integrated skill by completing the task. Further, Stoks (2002) suggested that by engaging in a WebQuest students increase their language comprehension and do problem solving through language learning facilitated by WebQuest. In addition, it provides access to online resources while scaffolding the learning process to encourage order thinking and in some extent WebQuest brings together the most effective instructional practice into one integrated learning activity. To gain the benefits of webquest for EFL learners it is important to design appropriate Webquest to be applied in EFL context.
Dodge first defined a WebQuest as “an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet” (1995:1). Webquest is a scaffolded learning structure which provide authentic task and World Wide Web links to investigate for transforming acquired information into more sophisticated understanding (March, 2003). It is an inquiry-based learning activity that requires students to process, apply and present information which they obtain from the web. Webquests allow learners to engage in activities that encourage social interaction and collaboration (learner-media, learners-learners, learners-teacher) so they have opportunities for communication (reading and writing) in the target language.
Components of Webquest:
Introduction is too give background information on the topic and reasons why the topic is worth investigating Task is to set the context through the steps required to complete task Process is to outline necessary steps to assist learners in accomplishing the task. It guides the learners through a set of activities and research tasks using a set of predefined resources Resources is to provide online resources (in Process) in clickable form which is active links to websites pre-selected by teacher within the task document. Evaluation is to establish everything the criteria to evaluate the final task. These criteria usually come in the form performance and language levels, where students can do self-assessment Conclusion is to summarize what students have learned from the Webquests and encourages students to apply what they have learned in their local context
Webquest offers scaffolding to help learners complete the task independently. It refers to the amount of help available to learners; tools that help language learners move along in the process of learning and accomplish an assigned task. Dodge categorizes the tasks on Webquest Taxonomy comprises retelling, compilation, mystery, journalistic, design, creative product, consensus building, persuasion, self-knowledge, analytical, judgment, and scientific.
Webquest and task-based learning To discuss about WebQuest and task-based learning it deals with social-constructivism. Vygotsky (1978) develops what Piaget suggests about environment influence in active learning process, actually comprises social environments such as teacher, peers, media etc. He argues that learners need a help to fulfill the ZPD (zone proximal development) for constructing new knowledge from other which has more. The help is what Bruner calls ‘scaffolding’. It is an instructional strategy which ensures that the learners take control of the task. Social constructivism allows learner-centered learning, peers collaboration as well learners-media, scaffolding. This enables language teachers to integrate WebQuest in task-based learning. Task-based learning is intended the learners use their real life needs and activities as learning experiences. The task is an activity that may have specified objective undertaken as part of an educational course or at work. In other words by completing the tasks the learners are hoped to be able to do the real-world task successfully in certain context. Another reason for the integration is that students have to deal with amount of specific information on the web and perform a task. The task of Webquest require the task types: problem solving and decision making as well involves multiple skills and subskills, such as reading a passage for comprehension and then doing something with the information that has been read, for making a decision or solving a problem. WebQuest provides Internet which contains instant L2 input (not just written text, but also multimedia that could help develop multiple skills).
The design of Savannah Safari WebQuest Before designing the webquest a teacher should pay attention to procedures and some principles: Steps for designing webquest:
– Selecting topic, goal and task (they must be appropriate for webquest) – Finding the resources (make sure they are hot link)
– Outlining the steps of the process (scaffolding) including URL list
– Formulating the evaluation
– Creating the slide presentation
– Testing and revising before implementing to students Principles to be applied in the design of a WebQuest for L2
– Promoting the significant use of the L2, by using authentic materials from the Web.
– Considering to the level of linguistic knowledge of the students, especially in Task and Process.
– Stating goals clearly and designing the task to attain those goals.
– Giving significant and communicative of language in the task. – compiling the Process abundant scaffolding, appropriate to the students’ needs including a language workshop, with all sort of activities to help students learn, and some support and guides to carry out the task, such as dictionary.
– Integrating into the syllabus as a continuity or part of another unit or activity.
– Planning it to practice the language skills that we want students to improve. (Pérez Torres, 2006)
Making slides presentation The powerful tool used in a webquest is hyperlinks. Hyperlink can deliver many authentic materials in quick and simple way. This is provided by PowerPoint Presentation. The slides presentation substitute the website without losing the content of learning. Each slide present each step or stage of webquest activities. While the hyperlinks applied to link each of them. Step 1 Open a new presentation in PowerPoint. Create your title on the Title slide. Step 2 Click “New Slide” on the Home tab, which will bring up a new slide with a list of bullet points. Click on the top part of the slide to title the slide “Introduction.” Click on the “Click to Add Text” section. Introduce your WebQuest on this slide. If you do not wish to include bullets, click on the drop-down arrow on the Bullets icon in the Home tab and select “None.” Step 3 Insert another new slide. Follow the same procedure as Step 2, except title this slide “Task.” Lay out the overall goal of the project and the individual assignments for each member of the team on this slide. Step 4 Insert another new slide. Title this slide “Process.” Explain the procedure and provide hyperlinks to resources for each student’s role in the project. As this slide may be lengthy, a list of bullet points may be appropriate. Click on the Bullets icon on the Home tab and a list will appear. Type your text. Step 5 Insert as many slides as you need. Remember, each student team member should have a separate page for his resources. Step 6 Insert an evaluation page, usually a rubric. Click the “Insert” tab and choose “Table” from the Tables group. Notice the Table Tools tab that appears; from there you can customize your table as you like. Fill in the rubric with your expectations for each part of the project. Step 7 Click the “Insert” tab and choose “Action” in the Links group. Click the “Mouse Click” tab and choose the “Hyperlink to” radio button. Pull down the arrow. Choose the appropriate action. To link to a specific slide, as you will need to do in the Process slide, choose “Slide…” from the drop-down menu where you will see all your slides by name. (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/make-links-live-powerpoint-40396.html)
Following the design of Webquest which follows the model introduced by Dodge (1995) and has been developed from Rice and Fish (2000), regarding Perez’s Principles.
Home/Menu The slide provides the links to be clicked to run the webquest.
Introduction It sets the background information which involves scenario. It tells the role of the students in this task that is a reporter. They will have a job to make a report. This is real-life, and the topic has correlation with other subject which the students learn, Biology.
Task The task informs the assignment to write a report text of a savannah animal and the steps to do the task. It also suggests them how to do the job collaboratively. It is retelling task of webquest taxonomy.
Process It provides the steps to be followed and scaffolding to make the learners independent ( Dodge, 2001; Gibbons, 2002)). The scaffolding covers online resources for them gaining the information, language workshop and dictionary which are hyperlinked.
Evaluation The form of assessment is in a rubric which will guide the students to do self-assessment. The rubrics elaborates the assessment criteria which has been developed from David Rose (2008) and Pauline Gibbons (2006). The assessment only assesses to the written product.
Conclusion It summarizes what learners accomplish by completing the task. They will have known more about savannah animals and how to write a report text.
However there may emerge some problems in designing WebQuests such as time-consuming to make, few pre-existing WebQuests for adult learners / language learning, sources go out of date, problems with technology/access to computers. So, the teacher should plan and prepare it well, and always observe to the guidance for designing Webquest.
Application The design has been applied in a small class of second grade of a senior high school. The students actually have ever studied about report text in first grade, however they claimed that they are lack of understanding about it. They do the webquest during 2 times of lesson hour. Through the observation they show that they are more motivated. Webquest also makes students’ collaboration in their way of comprehending in reading the resources texts and in constructing the assignment text. While in their way of constructing text, it is observed that the students get into thinking process such as analyzing and synthesizing the information from resources to be used for writing.