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ERIC Number: ED535145
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 675
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-0876-3
The Use of WebQuests for Helping Students Develop Their Information Skills
Tsui, Yuen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Information literacy is generally defined as a set of abilities enabling individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. As a consequence of the ongoing proliferation of information resources on the Web, information literacy is required and gains a high profile as central to education. Since the late 1990s, the concept of WebQuest has been developed to promote higher-order thinking through authentic assignments that emphasize inquiry-based and cooperative learning. The WebQuest model stresses the evaluation, analysis, and transformation of information. In linking the two concepts, there are discussions and theoretical assertions suggesting WebQuest as a useful tool for helping improve information literacy. Owing to the suggested use of WebQuest for information literacy training, the study investigated if WebQuest activities supported the improvement of information literacy. Specifically, the research was intended to act as an empirical study for verifying the theoretical assertions. It was like a treatment study investigating whether using a set of well-designed WebQuests, as treatment, could yield significant improvement in developing students' information skills, in order to help junior secondary students achieve a set of specific learning outcomes defined in the Information Literacy Framework for Hong Kong Students. The study took place in a co-educational secondary school in Hong Kong lasting for about three months. One hundred and forty junior students constituted the sample of the research. Four self-designed and adapted WebQuests were involved in the study as instruments aiming to help students practice their information skills in order to achieve seven learning outcomes for information literacy. The WebQuests were delivered to five groups of S.2 students through the Computer lessons. Each group consisted of 20 mixed ability students representing half of a S.2 class in the school. For assessment, a pre-test/post-test approach was used to measure the learning effects of the use of WebQuests. The tests assessed students' overall achievement of the target learning outcomes. Besides, the work completed by students throughout the WebQuest activities was evaluated by using four specially designed rubrics. During the implementation of the WebQuests, the physical activities and the computer screens of five working groups were video recorded. After the implementation, the five working groups were also interviewed to gather information regarding their learning processes and what they had learned throughout the WebQuests. The results indicated significant treatment effect on the overall achievement of the target learning outcomes for information literacy. Individually, the test results indicated significant treatment effect on five out of the seven learning outcomes. Among the five, large effect size was found for one, and medium effect size was found for the other four. For another two learning outcomes, findings from the qualitative data showed that the primary reason for the failure was about the absence of practice for the information skills concerned owing to some sort of supports given to students, the Web materials given in the WebQuests, and the implicit learning opportunities provided in the WebQuest. The findings of the study have implications for future research and practice in the area of employing the WebQuest model for information literacy instruction. Concerning the growing body of WebQuest research, the findings of this dissertation work contribute to the inadequate literature by enriching the empirical data. For practical concern, information gained from this study may have significant implications and provide useful reference for implementing the Information Literacy Framework for Hong Kong Students at Junior Secondary level. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong