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Teaching Excellence

This guide provides active learning and teaching strategies.

What is Inquiry-Guided Learning?

Inquiry is a form of self-directed learning and follows the four basic stages defining self-directed learning. Students take more responsibility for:

  • Determining what they need to learn
  • Identifying resources and how best to learn from them
  • Using resources and reporting their learning
  • Assessing their progress in learning

A comprehensive senior inquiry course will have all four of these elements. Students will take the initiative and be largely responsible for seeing they successfully complete their learning in a given area. Generally, students draft a “learning contract” and then execute it – the instructor submits a grade on completion of the contract (McMaster University, n.d.).

Helle, L., P. Tynjala, and E. Olkinuora. 2006. Project-based learning in post-secondary education – Theory, practice and rubber sling shots. Higher Education 51: 287–314

McMaster University. (n.d.). What is Unique About Inquiry Courses? Retrieved from, http://cll.mcmaster.ca/resources/misc/whats_unique_about_inquiry.html

Mills, J.E., and D.F. Treagust. 2003. Engineering education – Is problem-based or project-based learning the answer? Australasian Journal of Engineering Education. http://www.aaee.com. au/journal/2003/mills_treagust03.pdf

Prince, M., and R. Felder. 2007. The many faces of inductive teaching and learning. Journal of College Science Teaching 36, no. 5: 14–20
Savery, J.R. 2006. Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning 1, no. 1: 9–20

 

Inquiry-Based Learning: 8 Steps

STEP 1: Asking the Essential Question

STEP 2: Writing Foundation Questions

STEP 3: Developing a Search Strategy

STEP 4: Locating Information

STEP 5: Filter, Distill and Cross-Referencing

STEP 6: Evaluate the amount of information

STEP 7: Develop the answer to the Essential Question

STEP 8: Develop a product to represent the answer

Leathers, J. (2006). Using the Internet to Promote Inquiry Based Learning. Retrieved from, http://www.jakesonline.org/ibr.htm

F2F: Inquiry Based Learning Strategies

Inquiry-based learning in higher education: principal forms, educational objectives, and disciplinary variations.  This study examined descriptions of learning tasks that were put forward as examples of IBL by 224 university teachers from various disciplines in three Australian universities. Aditomo, A., Goodyear, P., Bliuc, A., & Ellis, R. A. (2013). Inquiry-based learning in higher education: principal forms, educational objectives, and disciplinary variations. Studies In Higher Education, 38(9), 1239-1258.

An exploration into inquiry-based learning by a multidisciplinary group of higher education faculty. The goal of this paper is to provide a discussion on the implementation of IBL in the classroom and students’ responses to IBL. The multidisciplinary group was from the following disciplines: philosophy, journalism and mass communications, business and technology education, public health, civil engineering, and social work. Friedman, D., Crews, T., Caicedo, J., Besley, J., Weinberg, J., & Freeman, M. (2010). An exploration into inquiry-based learning by a multidisciplinary group of higher education faculty. Higher Education, 59(6), 765-783.

How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the implications for the practice of inquiry based learning? The authors present a conceptual framework for inquiry-based learning that was developed on the basis of this study, and that has been found useful for pedagogical design and research/evaluation. Levy, P., & Petrulis, R. (2012). How Do First-Year University Students Experience Inquiry and Research, and What Are the Implications for the Practice of Inquiry-Based Learning? Studies In Higher Education, 37(1), 85-101.

Online: Inquiry Based Learning Strategies

Online problem-based and enquiry-based learning in the training of educational psychologists. This paper explains how online PBL and EBL activities have been incorporated into the professional training of educational psychologists, at the University of Birmingham, UK. Three examples of such activities are presented, together with data gathered during implementation which has helped to evaluate this work. Bozic, N., & Williams, H. (2011). Online problem-based and enquiry-based learning in the training of educational psychologists. Educational Psychology In Practice, 27(4), 353-364. doi:10.1080/02667363.2011.590466

Expanding Learning Presence to Account for the Direction of Regulative Intent: Self-, Co- and Shared Regulation in Online Learning. This paper explores the implementation of Kolb's Community of Inquiry's learner presence within an Advanced Health Assessment online nursing course. Hayes, S., Smith, S. U., & Shea, P. (2015). Expanding Learning Presence to Account for the Direction of Regulative Intent: Self-, Co- and Shared Regulation in Online Learning. Online Learning, 19(3), 15-33.

Emerging Faculty Role: Teaching for Deep Understanding Online.  This paper describes the development of a fully online Master's program in science education that is intended to help teachers extend their science knowledge and integrate inquiry-based science pedagogy and Web-based technologies into their teaching. Doubler, S. J., Grisham, L., & Paget, K. F. (2003). Emerging Faculty Role: Teaching for Deep Understanding Online.​

 

John Hattie: Inquiry-based Learning