Topic 5: The Task
Reading Table of Contents  Warm-up




 Last week you selected the topic for your WebQuest,You may remember that in Module 1 we learned that the task is the most important part of a WebQuest. The task is where you will achieve your curricular goals. It should be both challenging and engaging. A well designed task will encourage students to use higher-order thinking skills. (Analysis, synthesis, evaluation (Bloom's Taxonomy)

Exemplary WebQuests address the enduring understandings you want your students to understand long after they have completed the study of this topic. WebQuests might involve: 

    Solving a contemporary or compelling problemEvaluating history or a scienceCreating a potentially useful productExploring and dealing with life'sSparking the imagination and the joy of learning
Choose the most appropriate task for your WebQuest topic from the following tasks: 

Retelling TasksSimilar to research reports. 
Involve retelling an event or describing an existing phenomenon. 
Don't involve much higher-level thinking
Not the best choice for a WebQuest.

  • Compilation Tasks
    Involves gathering information from a number of resourcesInvolves putting it into a common format paraphrasing, summarizing, and making decisions about which information to include.
    • Mystery Tasks
      Begin with a provocative question that will intrigue students and motivate them to solve a mystery or problem. Involves using information from a variety of sourcesInvolves synthesizing information and making inferences and generalizations
    • Journalistic Tasks
      Involves a variety of accounts and viewpoints in order for students to come up with their own report. Should involve as little bias as possibleIs a factual compilation and reporting of information 
    • Design Tasks
      Can involve designing a family vacation, an event, a job for someone with specific skills, or a purchasing plan for a major item Specific restraints must be considered such as limited time, money, and resources
    • Creative Products Tasks
      Focuses on the creative arts. Final product could be a song, skit, painting, game, or other work of artMay involve imitating a particular style or artist.
    • Consensus Building Tasks For a consensus building task, students compare and consider different perspectives based on facts as well as opinions. They then develop a report that incorporates all views.
    • Persuasive Tasks Persuasive tasks require students to develop a convincing argument based on information they have gathered. They may be required to present their case in front of an imaginary audience, write an editorial, or videotape a public service announcement.
    • Self-knowledge Tasks These types of tasks challenge the students to take a good look at themselves and come up with revelations about their feelings or opinions, their long-term goals, or their past.
    • Analytical Tasks

      For analytical tasks, students are challenged to analyze one or more situations, people, or things, and find similarities and differences. They should move beyond simple comparison to insights about meaning and significance.
    • Judgment Tasks

      For a judgment task, students are given a rubric or other evaluation tool for making a judgment on a collection of items. Students can even design their own evaluation tool.
    • Scientific Tasks

      Scientific tasks employ principles of scientific inquiry. Students develop and test a hypothesis, then report on the results. 

    For more detailed descriptions of these tasks and numerous examples of each, visit Taskonomy.

    Writing the Task

    In Week Two, you decided on a topic. Choose a task from the above list that fits well with your topic and your educational goals. When you have finished planning your task and sit down to write it, it is imperative that you make the assignment clear.

    Even before the students begin following the steps of the process, they should know exactly what they will be doing for this WebQuest simply because they have read the section about the task.

    Look at the Webquest Design Steps, and think about each step and how it contributes to the WebQuest. What is each step included?

    Take look at the template available at WebQuest Training Materials on Bernie Dodge's site. The templates are in bin.hex (Mac) or zipped (pc) form. You will need Stuff It on the Mac or WinZip on a PC to open these files. Both can be downloaded for free from You can also find the same template online by clicking on the WebQuest Template link. If you are not comfortable with doing this the template is not critical. It is only another "help" available to you. You can follow the guide given in this course. You've already written your Introduction and Task sections.