WebQuests in Social Studies Education
WebQuests provide the opportunity to combine technology with educational concepts and to incorporate inquiry-based learning. WebQuests also have the ability to integrate on-line resources with student-centered, activity-based learning. Three courses in the College of Education at The University of Alabama and at West Virginia University incorporate WebQuests projects, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students develop an online WebQuest and submit a paper copy and/or a URL to their instructor upon completion of the course. During an academic year, three professors in social studies graduate education received over 50 submissions of WebQuests projects from pre-service and in-service teachers enrolled in three courses. The grading rubric was developed by Bernie Dodge, the creator of WebQuests, but modified at The University of Alabama yielding a high rate of reliability (93.3%). This project assessed scores of WebQuests using this grading rubric in three separate classrooms. Comparisons between elementary and secondary level students, Filamentality users, and certified and non-certified teachers were analyzed for significance. The students had already received a grade for their projects through the academic class, but a separate grading system was developed to evaluate these projects and to provide insight into future research using WebQuests.