More and more people are turning to the World Wide Web for information on all kinds of subject matter. Indeed, the Web contains numerous learning resources. However, not everything that's on the Web is useful; in fact, some of its contents are harmful, especially to young people. Thus, teachers who wish to make use of the Web to enhance learning in the classroom must employ appropriate strategies for its use.
One such strategy is the online treasure hunt. This is an activity in which students, working individually or in small groups, are given a set of questions to answer and websites to read. The answers to the questions are found in the websites, which are pre-selected by the teacher. The questions revolve around a specific topic in the curriculum, with each question formulated in such a way that it refers to an important aspect of that topic. The websites are chosen (the practice is to choose a different website for each question) in terms of whether they contain accurate and up-to-date information, they are written from an expert's point of view (or an authority on the subject matter), and they are presented in a style that is comprehensible and appealing to the students.
In this session, we present our experiences in designing and implementing online treasure hunts on specific topics in 1st year and 3rd year mathematics. This strategy proved to be very appealing to students, particularly because it involved the use of computers and the Internet. But careful instructional design is needed for effective learning to come about.