First-year students' experience of a WebQuest to explore the University's online resources and virtual learning environment

Paula Monique Barnard-Ashton, Janine van der Linde, Alan Rothberg, Patricia McInerney

Abstract


First-year students present with diverse digital literacy skills. Orientation to online tools and resources via a WebQuest was introduced
as a novel modality to allow students to work at their own pace. Occupational therapy and physiotherapy students (N=383) over three
consecutive academic years completed the WebQuest. A descriptive survey design was used to investigate the students’ electronic
media preferences and their perceptions of the WebQuest. The students (n=250) reported preference for personal computing and
home-based internet, and rated their electronic media proficiency as very good. The WebQuest was seen as beneficial to their learning
and the difficulty level of the WebQuest was “just right”. The majority of the students felt that the WebQuest made the learning
process more interesting, but were more ambivalent regarding their enjoyment of the WebQuest, possibly due to technical issues and
experiencing it as being time consuming. Overall the WebQuest was a successful modality for orientating the students to the online
tools and resources of the University

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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