Date of Award

1-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Abdmrahman Ghaleb Almekhlafi

Second Advisor

Dr. Sadiq Abdul wahed 1 mail

Third Advisor

Dr. Nagmeldin Omar Alsheikh

Abstract

Government leaders, educators and the general public in most countries in the world believe that combining English Language proficiency with skills in information technology will facilitate success in life (Tuan, 2011). The WebQuest is considered as a framework for structuring learner-centered instruction in teaching English as a Foreign Language using resources from the Internet.

This study looks closely at how WebQuest can enhance Grade 11 students’ reading comprehension performance at one of Al Ain’s Secondary Schools. This study reported the perception of students towards utilizing this tool within their English Language curriculum.

A quasi-experimental research design was employed for this study. The study employed quantitative techniques in order to answer two research questions that involve students reading comprehension performance and perceptions towards the utilization of WebQuest in English classrooms. A pretest and posttest reading comprehension assessment was administered for both groups.

Prior the treatment and WebQuest instruction, both group were set for a reading comprehension pretest. One unit of WebQuest “People and Places” was selected to be implemented in Grade 11 English Language classrooms. The treatment group received a researcher developed WebQuest embedded in their English Language curriculum, while the control group received a classroom based teaching environment. After the treatment, the same reading comprehension that was used as a pretest, was used as a posttest for both groups. After the posttest, the treatment group received a five-point Likert scale questionnaire to explore their perceptions towards the WebQuest.

The data was analyzed by analysis of variance (ANCOVA), which was used to find out if there is a significant difference between the two groups. Through the quasi-experimental research, the findings display that the students who received the WebQuest learning environment made a significant improvement in their reading performance. The results were also enhanced by the positive feedback of the students towards the implementation of the WebQuest through the perception survey carried out after the treatment. Students agreed on that the utilization of the WebQuest enhanced their collaborative learning, language skills, reading comprehension, higher order thinking skills and finally they perceive the WebQuest as a better tool than the regular learning setting.

Further research is needed in the area of WebQuest and its usefulness in enhancing students’ reading comprehension, and another research to find if there is a correlation between students’ perception towards utilization of WebQuest and their reading comprehension performance. Finally, the study makes pedagogical recommendations for adapting WebQuest in the Emirati context and for future research in the UAE.

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