Creating Web Quests with Google Docs – A school based example of software as a service

Michael John Delargey

University College Cork (UCC)

Cunningham and Billingsley (2006) describe a web quest simply as a web-based lesson. They are organised around a topic that requires students to use web resources to complete an inquiry or investigation involving higher order thinking. The goal in designing them is to develop a learning activity that promotes genuine information problem solving. However the problems faced by teachers wishing to implement these tools in their teaching are two fold: firstly, they need to understand how they might create learning tasks based on internet content and secondly, they need to learn how to post their creations to the web so that they are online and thus accessible to their students. The challenge is therefore to locate an easy to use tool that allows teachers develop a worthwhile learning activity.
This presentation describes how effective web quests can easily be created using Google Docs. The Google Docs interface enables teachers to create content using a word processor package, select the viewers/users of the web quest and importantly post it to the web without having to have a school server to host it.
Google Docs enables teachers to harness the enormous potential of the internet as a teaching and learning tool in a manner which encourages them to create their own activities which scaffold their students’ learning in an easy accessible  web-based environment.

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