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Q: Searching for Webquests ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Searching for Webquests
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: jenn8675-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 07 Dec 2005 14:30 PST
Expires: 06 Jan 2006 14:30 PST
Question ID: 602829
I am looking to create a search string that locates only Webquests and
not information about Webquests (e.g. how to make a Webquest). (For
background info on webquests see

So far I've limited it from the high of about 200,000 to 31,900 by
using the following string:

"webquest" + "task" +  "introduction" + "process" + "evaluation" +
"conclusion" 2000..2005 -workshop -"designing webquests" -"template"
-filetype:ppt -filetype:pdf -filetype:doc

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 07 Dec 2005 18:26 PST

Hi there.  Thanks for an interesting question...I wasn't familiar with
webquests before looking into your question a bit.  They seem an
interesting educational tool.

I doubt there is any search string that will be 100% successful in
distinguishing actual webquests from sites that are *about* webquests.

However, it's certainly possible to zero in on genuine webquests with
a well-constructed search.  Have a look at this one, and let me know
what you think:


Also, the site includes access to about 1,500 wequests in
their index -- have you had a look at these, yet?

Let me know your thoughts on this.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 08 Dec 2005 05:19 PST
This one's even better:



Clarification of Question by jenn8675-ga on 08 Dec 2005 16:28 PST

This is just what I needed, but a few questions--indulge me in clarifying 
(1)  why did you choose to use ?this webquest"? 
(2) Similarly, what occurs when you choose -webquests "this webquest"? 
Don?t they cancel each other out? 
I think that combining yours and mine we are getting to where I need to be.
Subject: Re: Searching for Webquests
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 08 Dec 2005 16:54 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Glad to hear this is on target for what you needed.

And I'm glad, too, that you asked about the search terms.  It's a good
opportunity to deconstruct the search string, which is as follows:

[ -webquests "this webquest" -workshop -"designing webquests"
-"template" intitle:webquest OR inurl:webquest ]

I started out with the [ intitle ] and [ inurl ] commands, as these
specify to return only sites that have "webquest" in the site title or
in the site's url.

This struck me as a good way to focus attention exclusively on sites
that had a strong focus on webquests.

But that still left the challenge of distinguishing sites that
contained actual webqquests, from those that discussed webquests more
generally.  That's where the positive and negative terms came in.

I included "this webquest" as a positive ('must contain') term,
because it seemed to me a phrase that would find frequent use in sites
that contain an actual webquest, e.g., "This webquest is about
Galileo...." or whatever.

At the same time, I used the negative ('must not contain') term [
-webquests ] to eliminate sites that talk about webquests in the
plural.  It seemed much more likely to me that sites that were *about*
webquests would use the plural version of the term, e.g. "Webquests
are a useful tool for teachers..."

Borrowing the negative terms from your original search helped to
tighten the results even further.

I trust these search results, along with the explanation of the search
strategy, fully answer your question.

However, if there's anything else you need, just let me know by
posting a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist you


jenn8675-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Excellent--thanks for the help!

There are no comments at this time.

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