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ERIC Number: EJ919550
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1544-0389
Using WebQuest as a Universal Design for Learning Tool to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Teacher Preparation Programs
Yang, Chien-Hui; Tzuo, Pei Wen; Komara, Cecile
Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v8 n3 p21-29 Mar 2011
Developed by Dodge (1995), WebQuest is an inquiry-based teaching tool, in which students of all ages and levels participate in an authentic task that use pre-designed, pre-defined internet resources, though other print resources can also be used. Learners will put the focus on gathering, summarizing, synthesizing, and evaluating the information within clearly defined parameters in order to accomplish an authentic task set by the instructor. WebQuest takes a problem-solving approach and exhibits a clear structure that guides the learning processes and interactions (Dodge, 2001), and can be used for different subject areas across age levels, from young children to adult learners (Ezell, Klein, Hines, & Hall, 2003). In teacher preparation, research has shown that WebQuest enhanced problem-solving skills, higher order thinking, motivation, creativity, critical thinking, active learning, connection to authentic contexts (Abu-Elwan, 2007; Allan & Street, 2007; Lim & Hernandez, 2007) and assisted in bridging the theory to practice gap (Lim & Hernandez, 2007). It should be noted that most studies were conducted on the subject areas of Math, literacy, or science. In Singapore context, many local teachers still haven't heard of WebQuest and learned about using WebQuest in their teaching. Further, few research studies have focused on establishing WebQuest as an evidence-based practice in enhancing teaching and learning or a pedagogy promoting Universal Design for Learning and inquiry based learning. This research project intends to introduce WebQuest, to be modelled and integrated in a course training special education pre-service teachers (allied educators) in Singapore. Specifically, the following research questions were posed: (1) Does the use of WebQuest in teacher preparation promote special education teachers' understanding on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in accommodating students with diverse learning needs? (2) Does WebQuest a useful tool to enhance teacher's higher order thinking, engagement, creativity, and collaborative learning skills? (3) Does the use of WebQuest in teacher preparation foster stronger desires for teachers to integrate ICT in teaching and learn more about WebQuest? Forty one teachers responded to a survey questionnaire after experiencing WebQuest developed by the course instructor in teacher preparation program. Teachers also learned about WebQuest as an Universal Design for Learning tool for students with diverse learning needs. The majority of teachers indicated strong favors over WebQuest activities over traditional teacher-directed learning methods. All participants found WebQuest helpful in accommodating individual differences and learning styles (Agree: 68.3%; Strongly agree: 31.7%). Forty teachers (N=41) reflected that they used more critical thinking and problem solving skills when they engaged in the WebQuest activities developed by the instructor (39% strongly agree and 56.1% agree). Thirty nine teachers agreed that they were required to use more creativity when they engaged in the WebQuest activities (24.4% of teachers strongly agree and 68.3% agree). The majority of teachers (26.8% strongly agree and 68.3% agree) felt that they know more about ways to incorporate technology for teaching and learning after experiencing WebQuest in this class. They also indicated that they would like to use more technology and web resources in teaching in the future after learning about WebQuest (41.5% strongly agree and 53.7% agree).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore