Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
12 February 2015

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What is a Virtual Scavenger Hunt?

This is an individual or small group learning strategy which is used to help students develop online research capabilities as they “hunt” for selected pieces of information using predetermined “clues.”

Why use it?

  • To help students develop their online research capabilities
  • To help students focus their reading of online text
  • To help students develop problem-solving skills
  • To introduce a topic or be part of a research assignment

How do I use it?

  • Provide students with pre-determined scavenger hunt clues.
  • Students will use the clues to locate the information online. The online sources could be provided or left open to the students.
  • After a predetermined amount of time, review responses with the students.

Tips for success

  • To facilitate problem-solving, develop clues that do not simply lead to “right-there” information, but that require reasoning and logic.
  • “Hints” or additional clues may be required to facilitate the location of information.
  • You may wish to have students provide source links with their responses.


  • Have pairs or small groups work together on the scavenger hunt.
  • Make the scavenger hunt a contest for teams of students. Teams can score points for providing responses the fastest, having responses that are the most accurate, or a combination of the two.
  • Use a QR code generator such as to code clues.


  • Have students develop their own scavenger hunt questions that can be shared with other students.


Casale-Giannola, D. & Schwartz Green, L. (2012). 41 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, Grades 6-12. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Teaching (blog). Turn Students Into Strategic Researchers: Web Scavenger Hunts.(accessed Feb. 9, 2015).

University of Illinois, Online Teaching Activity Index. Scavenger Hunt Activity. (accessed Feb. 9, 2015).

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation

This content is provided through Let's Talk Science's Education Services team.

Ce contenu est fourni par l'équipe des services d'éducation de Parlons sciences.

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