WebQuest Direct was developed by the WQD team as a service to teachers and launched in 2001.
Beginnings of WebQuest Direct
In 1999, Frances Moore, an educational consultant, conducted a Project "Good Practice and Leadership in the Use of Information Communication Technologies in Schools" for the Australian Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and Education Network Australia (EdNA). (See Leading Practice web site on EdNA)
This was a national project and from it Frances discovered WebQuests (webquests).
Webquests encourage higher order thinking skills - evaluation, synthesis and analysis (Bloom's Taxonomy). Webquests do this by actively engaging students in discussion - making a stand for their viewpoint, from which they have become emotionally and intellectually attached, and coming to a consensus with other students about issues that are confronting them - or by asking them to create a play, critique a novel, make a model in response to the webquest.
Usually students are asked to look at a particular issue from different viewpoints or roles and to explore this role extensively. Students report back or present to the group with their analysis and evaluation.
As a result of this discovery, Frances embarked on learning more about webquests, their implementation into the classroom, and how teachers could have access to these great curriculum resources. Frances saw the great benefits of these web quests and wanted to share webquests with teachers.
What Frances discovered was, that although there are a lot of web quests on the Internet to be found through normal search engines, including some lists, teachers would have to work very hard to search for them and most are not categorised into topics or subject areas. There didn't seem to be a place where teachers could go and easily find exactly the WebQuest they wanted: for their Year group, for their Key Learning Area (KLA) or their topic. It was frustrating to teachers. It meant they had to spend a lot of time finding what they wanted - time teachers didn't or don't have!
Frances dreamed up creating a
WebQuest Directory where teachers could go and find a webquest easily. Hence the
concept of WebQuest Direct was born in 2000.