ICT as a Cognitive Tool – Webquests


The following link is an example of a Webquest. This particular Webquest is a commerce one:


By addressing the key aspects of meaningful learning, a Webquest is a good example of how ICT can be an effective cognitive tool in today’s classrooms.

Why is the use of ICT an effective cognitive tool in today’s classrooms?

In Jonassen et al (2008) article, the author argues a constructivist approach to learning, where meaningful learning is achieved through the students’ undertaking activities or tasks that are Active, Constructive, Intentional, Authentic, and Co-operative. The diagram below demonstrates the interconnectedness of these activities.

There are many ways activities can be constructed to achieve meaningful learning, but the increase of ICT use in the classroom has opened a number of avenues for students to be engaged in meaningful learning. One particular ICT tool that can be effectively utilised in the classroom as a cognitive tool for students and an avenue for meaningful learning is the Webquest, whose model was developed by Bernie Dodge in 1995. A Webquest is an ‘inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet’ (Dodge 1995).  Webquests construct a task where the students actively research a subject matter, learning through discovery. They address each part of Jonassen’s components of meaningful learning. They require Active inquiry from the students. They are constructive in their approach, requiring the students to synthsise and report back what they have learnt. Webquests require students to fulfil a particular task, therefore making them Intentional. Webquests are also Authentic, placing the subject matter in their context, giving the students a real world experience of the subject. Finally, Webquests are more often than not designed to be completed in groups, therefore making them Co-operative.

Webquests, by addressing each aspect of Jonassen’s key criteria for achieving meaningful learning, are an effective cognition tool in today’s classrooms. Furthermore, by utilising other ICT tools, such as Interactive Whiteboards, mobile tools, videos and games, the learning experience can be augmented and made more enjoyable for the classroom.


Dodge B. (1997). Some thoughts about webquests. Retrieved from https://blackboard.nd.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%2

Jonassen D, Howland J, Morra R.M, Crismond D (2008) Meaningful Learning with Technology 3rd ed Pearson, New York



The above Webquest requires students to explore issues related to employment as part of the Stage 5 Commerce Syllabus.


Which learning style/s does this ICT support?

Webquests support a number of learning styles, from visual to auditory, to investigative.


How could this ICT be implemented as a good cognitive tool within the learning environment?

This blog deals with the use of Webquests as cognition tools. A Webquest ticks all the boxes when it comes to meaningful learning.


How is this ICT enabling the development of creativity?

The Webquest, though giving an initial task and stages, provides students with the scope to take the research into areas of interest relating to the subject.

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