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Scavenger Hunts

screen capture of scavenger huntLearners are provided with a list of questions and links to websites that will answer each question. Learners must use the internet to find the answers to questions.

Samples

Reuse, Recycle, Reduce

Learners visit a recycling website then complete a downloaded question sheet (More details…)

Source Education World Website
URL http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/hunt/hunt030.shtml
Use Range of learners from primary to secondary and adult.
Delivery Needs website for hosting the web pages
Customisation NA
Availability More scavenger hunts are available here from
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/hunt.shtml

Why include scavenger hunts?

A scavenger hunt focuses on a particular theme and assists the learner to develop research and synthesis skills. The scavenger hunt is designed to introduce learners to using search engines to find a range of information on the internet.

Features

  • Internet scavenger hunts are a way for students to practice problem solving, improve their reading and comprehension skills and learn how to search the internet.
  • Scavenger hunts can be used as a whole class activity, as a team activity, or as a means of providing individual students with review or challenge.
  • Scavenger hunts can be heavily supported by the teacher (the websites for finding the information are provided) or they can involve learners in finding their own sites and answers by searching effectively using a range of parameters and search techniques.
  • Learners must provide the final list of the best sites they have found in correct bibliographic format. This can be posted to the assessment area of a Learning Management System. Alternatively it can be shared with others on a website.

Integrating scavenger hunts

Design steps

  1. Identify an idea, theme, topic or concept you want to reinforce or introduce.
  2. Search for a range of websites that introduce or reinforce the concept. Develop a set of questions that may be answered from the site.
    • Cut and paste the exact wording from the web site and turn the information into questions.
    • Gather the material from a variety of different web sites and from various positions on the pages.
    • Mix up the order of the questions so that learners have to browse around all of the sites to find the answers.
  3. Include questions that will require learners to interact and interpret different sources of online information (audio and video files, electronic databases, visual images such as maps, newspapers, government reports, mathematical and scientific data).
  4. Provide instructions on how to search for the answers.
  5. Provide information on how to record the answers (i.e. correct bibliographic format).
  6. Prepare an electronic form or paper based handout for learners to record their answers. You could use a quiz function in a Learner Management System or a web survey tool such as SurveyMonkey®
  7. Answers to the scavenger hunt could be posted to a discussion  forum, group wiki or personal blog

Assessment

It would be possible to use some of the quiz  facilities available in Learning Management Systems for students to enter the answers to the scavenger hunt. They could record their answers first on a paper based handout and then enter the answers into the online quiz. Points could be awarded for innovative search techniques.

Generic skills

Learners will be developing many generic skills as they complete the scavenger hunt. In particular they will be developing skills in:

  • collecting, analysing and organising information
  • problem solving
  • self-managed learning
  • using technology.

Technical notes

It is possible to develop scavenger hunts with a minimum of technology and skills. At a basic level you can provide the learners with a handout, which lists questions and possible websites for answering the questions.

You can also use web sites that offer scavenger hunt creation such as:

Scavenger Hunts could also be made available to learners using Wikis. Learner answers could also be posted there.

Easy to set up and manage Online Survey Tools can be used freely for up to 10 questions. Learners’ answers can be gathered and downloaded for assessment purposes.

Alternatively a more technically sophisticated option would be develop interactive websites, metaphorical environments and quizzes for guiding learners and recording their answers.

Skills

The teacher will need to have design skills for developing interesting and educationally sound questions which engage and challenge the learners.

Tools and resources