As stated by Tom March, (2003), "a well-designed Web Quest combines research-supported theories with effective use of the Internet to promote dependable instructional practices."
I have just completed going through the web quest's be Tom March and Scot Aldred, they are both easy to follow and are able to educate the learners over a variety of KLA strands. I like the way Scot's web quest asked to students to take on different roles to complete a document that will be presented to the Deputy Prime Minister. This would engage the students in the activity as they would feel they are completing the task for a purpose.
This refers to the second principle in the framework create, makes learning a creative, purposeful activity. Students have to define the project and focus their efforts on application of ideas to a specific context. Conducting their own projects is much more interesting to students than answering sterile textbook problems. As students get to define the nature of the project they have a sense of control over their learning which is absent in traditional classroom instruction. Students taking charge of their own learning is evident in Scot's webquest by the students researching their different roles. Greg Kearsley & Ben Shneiderman, 1999.
Web quests are a great way to teach students. However to be able to make the web quests worth the time they take to create, they would need to cover most KLA's. This way the learning manager is able to accommodate for all key learning areas in the one task. A down side to web quests however, would be the lack of computer resources in the classrooms. To accommodate for this the students could get into groups in their groups follow through the web quest with the learning manager.
Overall web quests are a great way to engage students and I think they should be used throughout schools to educate learners.
Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B, Engagement Theory, A framework for technology-based teaching and learning, 1999
Bright ideas for education, The learning power of web quests, 2003, viewed on 18 August 2009, http://tommarch.com/writings/wq_power.php