Application of WebQuest-based Instruction in Higher Education Context: EFL Students’ Achievement in Writing Skill (Research Article)

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran



EFL learners’ low motivation and lack of sufficient prior knowledge can be regarded as the barriers that impede their success in presentation of high quality writing pieces. To solve the mentioned problems, some researchers suggest the application of inventive technology-enhanced instructions in teaching the writing skill. In this regard, WebQuest as a computer-based instructional model providing the already-selected website links can be proposed as an appropriate candidate. Hence, the very aim of the present experimental pre-test/post-test study was to address the effect of WebQuest-based instruction on Iranian undergraduate EFL learners’ achievements in their overall essay writing ability as well as their writing ability concerning the elaboration, focus, conventions, vocabulary, and organization sub-skills. To do so, 50 participants in the experimental group and 49 participants in the control group performed the WebQuest-based and the alternative tasks without access to the web links, respectively. To analyze the obtained data, six ANCOVAs were run. The results revealed a significant improvement in EFL learners’ overall writing performance as well as their outperformance in the organization, focus, elaboration, and vocabulary subskills, but not the conventions sub-skill. The findings of this study indicated optimistic implications about the potential applicability of novel educational technologies in Iranian higher education context. EFL learners’ improved writing performance and vocabulary acquisition as well as their increased motivation and collaboration in WebQuest-based writing classes can be regarded as a valuable clue for teachers, administrators, and designers to pave the way for further integration of innovative technologies in EFL settings.


Main Subjects

Article Title [فارسی]

کاربرد آموزش مبتنی بر وب کوئست در محیط آموزش عالی: موفقیت دانشجویان زبان انگلیسی در مهارت نگارش

Authors [فارسی]

  • معصومه دوستی
  • زهرا امیریان
  • داریوش نژادانصاری
دانشجوی دکتری زبان انگلیسی، گروه زبان و ادبیات انگلیسی، دانشکده زبانهای خارجی، دانشگاه اصفهان، اصفهان، ایران.
Abstract [فارسی]

انگیزه ی کم و عدم دانش کافی فراگیران زبان انگلیسی را می توان موانعی دانست که مانع موفقیت آنها در ارائه ی مقاله هایی با کیفیت بالا می شود. برای حل مشکلات ذکر شده، وب کوئست به عنوان یک مدل آموزشی مبتنی بر رایانه که لینک سایت های از قبل انتخاب شده را ارائه می دهد، می تواند به عنوان یک نامزد مناسب پیشنهاد شود. از این رو ، هدف اصلی این مطالعه ی آزمایشی پیش/پس آزمون، پرداختن به تأثیر آموزش مبتنی بر وب کوئست بر موفقیت دانشجویان زبان انگلیسی در مقطع کارشناسی بر روی دست آورد کلی و مقیاس های تمرکز، دقت، سازماندهی، علامت گذاری و انتخاب واژگان در نگارش مقالات دانشگاهی می باشد. بدین منظور، 50 شرکت کننده در گروه آزمایش و 49 شرکت کننده در گروه کنترل، به ترتیب تمارین مبتنی بر وب کوئست و تمارین مشابه بدون دسترسی به لینک سایت ها را انجام دادند. برای تجزیه و تحلیل داده های به دست آمده، شش آنکوا اجرا شد. نتایج نشان دهنده ی بهبود قابل توجهی در نگارش فراگیران زبان انگلیسی و همچنین عملکرد بهتر آنها در مقیاس های تمرکز، دقت، سازماندهی و انتخاب واژگان می شود، اما عملکرد آنها در علامت گذاری تغییری نکرد. بهبود عملکرد نگارش، فراگیری بیشتر لغات و همچنین افزایش انگیزه و همکاری زبان آموزان در کلاسهای نگارش مبتنی بر وب کوئست می تواند به عنوان یک سرنخ ارزشمند برای معلمان، مدیران و طراحان آموزشی قلمداد شود تا زمینه ی ادغام بیشتر فناوری های نوآورانه درمحیط های زبان انگلیسی فراهم شود.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • کاربرد آموزش مبتنی بر وب کوئست در محیط آموزش عالی: موفقیت دانشجویان زبان انگلیسی در مهارت نگارش
Abd Elfatah, M., & Said Ahmed, A. (2016). Web Quest and EFL Critical Reading and Writing. Cultural and Religious Studies, 4, 3, 175-184.
Abedelqader, L., & Salameh, M. (2018). Measuring the effects of web-based pre-writing activities on EFL learners’ writing performance. British Journal of English Linguistics, 6, 2, 72-85.
AL-Khataybeh, M., & AL-Awasa, A.(2016). The Effect of Using Web Quests on Improving Seventh Grade Female Students' Writing Skills in Southern AL-Mazar Directorate of Education. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 3 (1)1,112-127.
Arsanjani, M., & Faghih, E. (2015). The impact of the Webquest instruction system on Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ writing performance and perception. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 12, 2, 37-47.
Aydin, Z., & Yildiz, S. (2014). Using wikis to promote collaborative EFL writing. Language Learning & Technology, 18(1), 160–180. Retrieved from
Belkhir, A., & Benyelles, R. (2017). Identifying EFL Learners Essay Writing Difficulties and Sources: A Move towards Solution. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 16, 6, 80-88.
Berezova, L. M., Mudra, S. M., & Yakushko, K.H. (2018).The effect of WebQuests on the writing and reading performance of university students. Information Technologies and Learning Tools, 64, 2, 110-118.
Blachowicz, C.L.Z., Beyersdorfer, J., & Fisher, P. (2006). Vocabulary development and technology: Teaching and trans- formation. In M.C. McKenna, L.D. Labbo, R. Kieffer, & D. Reinking (Eds.), International handbook of literacy and technology (Vol. 2, pp. 341–348). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cohen, J. W. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd edn). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dar, M. F., & Khan, I. (2015). Writing anxiety among public and private sectors Pakistani undergraduate university students. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 10 (1), 121-136.
Doolittle, P. E., & Hicks, D. (2003). Constructivism as a theoretical foundation for the use of technology in social studies. Theory and Research in Social Education, 31(1), 72-104.
Ebadi, S., & Rahimi, M. (2018). An exploration into the impact of WebQuest-based classroom on EFL learners’ critical thinking and academic writing skills: a mixed-methods study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2018.1449757
Fareed, M., Ashraf, A., & Bilal, M. (2016). ESL Learners' Writing Skills: Problems, Factors and Suggestions.Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 4 (2), 81-92.
Guilloteaux, M.J. and Dörnyei, Z. (2008) Motivating Language Learners: A Classroom-Oriented Investigation of the Effects of Motivational Strategies on Student Motivation. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 55-77.
Halat, E. (2010). A Good Teaching Technique: WebQuests. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 81(3), 109-112. DOI: 10.3200/ TCHS.81.3.109-112
Halat, E. & Peker, M. (2011). The Impacts Of Mathematical Representations Developed Through Webquest And Spreadsheet Activities On The Motivation Of Pre-Service Elementary School Teachers. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(2), 259-267.
Kocoglu, Z. (2010). WebQuests in EFL reading/writing classroom. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 3524–3527.
Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A Guideline of Selecting and Reporting Intraclass Correlation Coefficients for Reliability Research. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 15, 155-163.
Laborda, J. G. (2009). Using webquests for oral communication in English as a foreign language for tourism studies. Educational Technology & Society, 12(1), 258-270.
March, T. (2004). The learning power of WebQuests. Educational Leadership, 61(4), 42–47.
Murray, D. E., & Mcpherson, P. (2009). WebQuest. Using the Web to support language learning.  Sydney: National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research Macquarie University, Sydney  NSW 2109
Nezam Hashemi, F, & Yazdani Moghaddam,M. (2014). The Effect of Virtual vs. Actual Writing Instruction on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Essay Writing Performance in Islamic Azad University, Dubai Branch. International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature (IJSELL), 2, 1, 1-12.
Nwike, Matthew C., & Catherine, O. 2013. Effects of Use of Instructional Materials on Students Cognitive Achievement in Agricultural Science. Journal of Educational and Social Research. 3(5), 1-9.
Rao, Z. (2007). “Training in brainstorming and developing writing skills.” ELT Journal, 61(2), 100-106.
Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Turville, J.(2008). Differentiating by Student Learning Preferences, Strategies and Lesson Plans. Eye on Education, Inc.
Wang, Y. H. & Liao, H. C. (2008). The application of learning portfolio assessment for students in the technological and vocational education system. Asian EFL Journal, 10(2), 132-154.
Zlatkovska, E. (2010). WebQuests as a Constructivist tool in the EFL teaching methodology class in a university  in Macedonia. CORELL: Compute.
Zheng, R., Perez, J., Williamson, J., and Flygare, J. (2008). WebQuests as perceived by teachers: implications for online teaching and learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24, 295–304.