WebQuest development in the blended classroom: What do students gain?
Keywords:WebQuest development, educational technology, blended learning, elearning, student attitudes, student experiences, graduate competencies, employability
AbstractThis paper reports on the challenges and benefits experienced by undergraduate Production and Operations Management students who were required to develop their own WebQuests focused on one topic within the course scope. The research evaluates how student attitudes/perceptions, experiences and learning were affected as a result of their exposure to the development of a WebQuest. The project was a departure from typical WebQuest applications in that it is usually preservice or in-service teachers who are required to develop their own WebQuests. Student groups were asked to select a topic from the course syllabus and develop a WebQuest which they would share with the class. Students had high initial resistance to the project, but by the end of the course, many students reported satisfaction with the depth and breadth of exposure, entertainment and variety that supplemented in-class coverage, materials to aid revision for final exams, improved time management and teamwork capabilities, enhanced information technology competencies, improved research skills, and a newfound confidence and excitement about learning. Furthermore, based on student self-reports it appears that the project also supported the development of several universitydefined distinctive graduate competencies. The paper's recommendations include measures to promote exploration of additional non-traditional elearning modalities as substantial benefit could be derived by all involved.