Web quests in Conservation Area Management

  • Group size: 12 students
  • Teaching type: Inclusive and flexible small group teaching (postgraduate)
  • Division: Social Sciences 
  • Subject: Geography
  • Tools: Canvas, Slack, Trello and Microsoft Teams/Zoom


The group of 12 students is subdivided into three equal groups and each given a real-life conservation scenario from around the globe. They must then complete two assignments by researching information from the web.

In the first assignment, students negotiate which role they would like to play in the management team. This is done using the messaging system called Slack. Once roles are agreed, the students then role-play a management meeting via a video conferencing tool such as Zoom (or Teams) in which they choose to focus on one of three management challenges given for each scenario. This type of approach is often referred to as a ‘web quest’.

For the second assignment, students develop a project plan based around their management challenge. Negotiating through Slack, their work is recorded in Trello, a project management tool. This is then shared with the real-life conservation team they have been role-playing for feedback through Zoom or Teams.


This real-world task incorporates vocational practices that students will engage in after leaving their course. Working together gives a realistic insight into team working, and role playing a specific role can give perspective on how individuals work together in a team.


Set up a number of years ago, the course uses an eclectic mix of technologies. Written and spoken communication and also elements of project management can now be brought together under one roof in Microsoft Teams, so lessening the need to jump between different platforms.

screenshot of small group web quest


A screenshot of the course page which describes the assignments and learning outcomes of the Conservation Management course

  • Contributed by: Paul Jepson
Resource type:
Scenario (teaching type):
Teaching level:

Helpdesk service