Creating WebQuests

Technologically, creating a WebQuest can be very simple. As long as you can create a document with hyperlinks, you can create a WebQuest. That means that a WebQuest can be created in Word, Powerpoint, and even Excel! If you're going to call it a WebQuest, though, be sure that it has all the critical attributes.

A real WebQuest....

  • is wrapped around a doable and interesting task that is ideally a scaled down version of things that adults do as citizens or workers.
  • requires higher level thinking, not simply summarizing. This includes synthesis, analysis, problem-solving, creativity and judgment.
  • makes good use of the web. A WebQuest that isn't based on real resources from the web is probably just a traditional lesson in disguise. (Of course, books and other media can be used within a WebQuest, but if the web isn't at the heart of the lesson, it's not a WebQuest.)
  • isn't a research report or a step-by-step science or math procedure. Having learners simply distilling web sites and making a presentation about them isn't enough.
  • isn't just a series of web-based experiences. Having learners go look at this page, then go play this game, then go here and turn your name into hieroglyphs doesn't require higher level thinking skills and so, by definition, isn't a WebQuest.

QuestGarden logoTo make it easier to create great WebQuests without having to master a web editor, QuestGarden was created by Bernie Dodge. QuestGarden provides step-by-step direction and examples. Supporting documents in Inspiration, Word, PowerPoint, etc can be attached to your WebQuest. Hosting is provided, and you can also download a zipped archive of your lesson and move it to another server. Subscribers can also start with an existing WebQuest created by one of QuestGarden's 150000 members and modify it easily to meet their needs. You can find more information here and enter the site here. Cost: $20 for 2-year subscription. 30-day free trial.

Sample WebQuests created with QuestGarden:

Other Online Authoring Systems
Site Description
zWebQuest zWebQuest (formerly called InstantWebquest) is a web based software for creating WebQuests in a short time. Cost: $0. Sample product: The Fantastic Four and World War III
TeacherWeb Online tool for creating simple WebQuests, especially appropriate for younger elementary students. Cost: $27/year. Sample product: Colonial America
WebQuest Templates

sample template from the University of ReginaThe old-school way of creating a WebQuest is to download a template that includes prompts for each section, open it up in a web editor, write your heart out, save it and then upload it to a server somewhere. Lots of effort on purely tech-y things required, and that effort often displaces the time needed to create good pedagogy. Still, if you already know how to use Dreamweaver or KompoZer, templates are the way to go. Here are some sources:


You might find some very old (1997-ish) templates out there (like this) that have separate sections for Resources and Learning Advice. My advice: don't use these. A decade of experience has shown us that those things are much better sprinkled within the Process section.

Once you have a template you like, just follow the steps in the WebQuest Design Process.