THE USE OF WEBQUESTS IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS OF COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ON VOCATIONAL TRAINING OF YOUNG PEOPLE

ABSTRACT

This study derives from the necessity of better understanding the potential of WebQuest methodology in training activities of vocational training courses of young people and had as main aim studying the impact of WebQuest methodology use in virtual environments of collaborative learning, in carrying out training activities in technical modules of vocational training courses of young people.

The work has addressed on a case study of three classes of vocational training courses of young people in which the learners proceeded to completion, in groups and with the support of a Virtual Learning Environment, a longer term WebQuest, that included 4 tasks based on real problems of the course area. In the end, the learners answered a questionnaire, data reveal a positive impact on levels of motivation and engagement of learners derived from collaborative work in the tasks of the WebQuest, a facilitation in acquisition and development of knowledge and skills, a general preference by WebQuest methodology and the importance of a Virtual Learning Environment to complement classroom sessions.

The results obtained reveal that, although it isn't yet the preferred strategy, the WebQuest is a tool to effectively integrate information and communication technologies in educational and training processes, promoting the collaborative learning. However, it is still necessary to study the benefits of better guidance on the use of resources available on the Internet.

KEYWORDS: Collaborative learning, vocational training, WebQuest, virtual learning environments.