Designing inquiry learning into courses

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Designing inquiry learning into courses. Mick Healey HE Consultant and Researcher, UK ; Inquiry in the sciences. Structure. Introduction - MH Examples of IBL in courses - MH Stages of IBL - MH - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Designing inquiry learning into coursesMick HealeyHE Consultant and Researcher, UK;

  • Inquiry in the sciences

  • StructureIntroduction - MH Examples of IBL in courses - MH Stages of IBL - MH Activities to get students active in their learning - MHModes of IBL - MHPlanning how to engage your students in research and inquiry MJThe potential of TEL in supporting IGL - MJ

  • Developing a questionAnticipating possible answers & determining relevant informationIdentifying resources & gathering informationAssessing informationWeighing evidence & synthesising understandingsCommunicating newunderstandingsEvaluating successSelf-reflection &Self-evaluation Model of the inquiry process (Justice et al., 2007)Engaging a topic & building basic knowledgeTaking responsibility for learning

  • Forms of IBLIBL activities may be designed to last over different lengths of time:A short exercise in a class, A whole classA whole semester courseA whole program

    In pairs each look at a different whole semester IBL course (pp2-4 and pp5-8).Discuss the similarities and differences

  • IBL involves:Learning stimulated by inquiry i.e. driven by questions or research problems Learning based on a process of constructing new knowledge and understandingA student/learner/learning-centred approach with the teacher as a facilitatorA move to self-directed learningThe development of skills in self-reflection

    Optional attributes of IBL: Collaborative/group learning Community involvement Field-based activity Resource-based learning Multi or inter-disciplinary focus

    Students engaged in IBL should develop:Critical thinking skillsThe ability for independent inquiryResponsibility for their own learningIntellectual growth and maturity(Lee et al., 2004)

    IBL is a pedagogy which best enables students to experience the processes of knowledge creation

  • Stage of inquiry learningUpon successful completion of this course a student should be able to: develop a researchable question and give a rationale for its significance; choose appropriate research methods to obtain information relevant to answering the question; critically evaluate the validity and relevance of sources; communicate a coherent response to the research question and interpret the findings in a wider context; critically reflect on the learning process.

  • Break out activityEstablish 5 small groupsEach group takes one stage of inquiry learningIdentify c3 activities that you could do with your stage to develop the students skills in this stageRecord your activities on the chart paper be prepared to share in plenary

    Allocate 15 minutes

  • Once you have learnt how to ask questions relevant and appropriate and substantial questions you have learnt how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know. Postman and Weingartner (1971, 23) Mainstreaming undergraduate research and inquiry: discipline and department strategies

  • Active learning suggestionsIn groups of 3 look at:Activities to get students active in their learning (pp9-14) (2 people)Research skill development framework (p15) and Academic literacy framework (p16)Discuss ideas which are transferable

    Time: 15 minutes

  • Modes of IBLImportance of scaffolding provided by lecturer and development of independence in learnerStructured where lecturers provide an issue or problem and an outline for addressing itGuided where lecturers provide questions to stimulate inquiry but students are self-directed in terms of exploring these questionsOpen where students formulate the questions themselves as well as going through the full inquiry cycle(after Staver and Bay, 1987)

  • Does IBL enhance student learning?Increasing evidence that shows:enhanced academic achievement, student perceptions, process skills, analytic abilities, critical thinking and creativity (Prince & Felder, 2006)deeper understanding, higher degree of reflection, more motivated and achievement of higher order learning (Berg et al., 2003)higher grades, more Honours, better retention (Justice et al. 2007b)

  • (Spronken-Smith et al. 2009)

  • (Spronken-Smith et al. 2009)

  • Scaffolding inquiry throughout a degree1st year1st year2nd year3rd year2nd year3rd year

  • Planning your learning designUse of learning design planners valuable for:

    Achieving common understanding in development teamcommunicate tacit informationSharing design more widelyCommunicating design to studentsAs an aid to evaluation

    [Brown, C (2006) Developing familiarity with learning design tools through subject analysis, Journal of Learning Design 1(2) 10-20 []].

  • Inquiry plannersIn pairs look at (one each):

    Sheffield inquiry planner (pp17-18)Gloucestershire inquiry planner (pp19-27)

    Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.

    [10 mins]

  • Digital technologies take many forms, and create opportunities for change, and support for new ways of working. However, few universities have gone far beyond the provision of technology for information, communication, and organisational transactions, to use its wider capabilities to improve the quality of the learning experience itself.Laurillard (2008: 525)Using technology to enhance the quality of teaching is just accommodating technology to the old ways of doing things. We are adding quadraphonic sound and GPS system to a horse and cart, but its still a horse and cart (Bates and Sangra, 2013: 12)Bates, AW & Sangra, A (2013) Managing technology in higher education: strategies for transforming teaching and learning, San Francisco: Jossey-BassLaurillard, d. (2008) Technology enhanced learning as a tool for pedagogical innovation, Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol 42, pt3-4

    Using TEL for IGL

  • technologies create an even more critical role for the teacher, who is not simply mediating the knowledge already articulated, but is more deeply involved in scaffolding the way students think and how they develop the new kinds of skills they will need for the digital literaciesLaurillard (2012: 4)Using TEL for IGL'Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who adopt new technologies will probably replace those who don't.Steve Wheeler

  • Using TEL for IGLTaskTEL used to undertake the taskProcess vs. ProductResourcesproviding access to resources required to complete the taskGuidanceproviding support to the learners

  • Using TEL for IGLReview the case studies from session oneWhich case studies used learning technologiesHow is the technology used?TaskResourcesGuidance

    [10 mins]

    *At their tables get each of them who has examples to jot down on a post-it and to bring it up to the whiteboard to place in the appropriate box

    IF have mix then get about 4 people at tables and an example of each**Cycle in which studs become engaged with a topic, develop a question to explore, determine what information needs to be found, gather data, synthesise findings, communicate findings and then evaluate the success.

    Further the process is seen as circular since the inquiry leads to new interests and more questions.

    Core to the process is an attitude of self-reflection and evaluation, which are seen as both a product of the inquiry process and an enabler of success at every stage

    BUT IBL can include the whole cycle or begin with part of the cycle and scaffold the learner until they can do the whole thinge.g. Where might sand dunes be on Mars within lecture activity through to project work, then whole course, then whole degreeAt their tables get each of them who has examples to jot down on a post-it and to bring it up to the whiteboard to place in the appropriate box

    IF have mix then get about 4 people at tables and an example of each**Researchable QuestionHave students design research questions on something they know nothing about (e.g., Ming Dynasty Pottery) the students find this very challenging they learn they need to know something about a topic before they can answer any reasonable questions. You can also talk about question refinement as they begin to learn more about the topic.Teach a traditional lecture based course as a series of questions Socratic method. Let them see the questions and then reasonable answers develop. Have the students participate in answering the questions.Obtain InfoSee online modules we use on info literacy Critically EvaluateThere is some info in the module aboveConsider critically evaluating editorials in the student newspaper, or other topics of specific interest to the students social media editorials are also good common interest pieces, they also respond well to thinking critically about millenial student editorials or pieces. On these topics the students sometimes have strong opinions and interest, but the key teachable piece is getting them to think about evidence to support their position.Communicate a ResponseThink of non-traditional communication means a poster, graffiti, a short video clip, an editorial, and to different audiences their peers, their parents, university administrators, high school students, grade school students, a government official etc.Critically ReflectSee Brookfield attachments but likely dont use till the endSometimes self reflective questionnaires are helpful here on learning styles, on time management, on approaches to learning etc.****However Prince and Felder (2006) in a review of four cases of IBL, concluded that IBL was generally more effective than traditional teaching for achieving a variety of student learning outcomes such as academic achievement, student perceptions, process skills, analytic abilities, critical thinking and creativity. Some studies compare the learning outcomes of students taking an IBL version with those of students taking a more traditional course. For example, Berg et al. (2003) compared the learning outcomes of an open-inquiry and an expository version of a first year chemistry laboratory experiment. Data on student experiences of the two approaches were gained from interviews, questions during the experiment and students self-evaluations. The key findings of this study were that students taking the open-inquiry version had more positive outcomes including a deeper understanding, higher degree of reflection, the achievement of higher order learning and more motivation. Justice et al. (2007b) used five years of data to examine whether taking a first year IBL course made a difference in students learning and performance. In a comparative study between students taking an IBL course and those who did not, and, taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, high-school grade point averages etc., they found that students who took the inquiry course had statistically significant positive gains in passing grades, achieving Honours and remaining in the university. is there another way to phrase this? Maybe, non-IBL teaching? Otherwise, do we need to define traditional teaching?Can we define expository a bit further? Does this mean a lab experiment that relies on a recipe approach emphasizing lab skills instead of true experimentation? Id like a little more detail about how the open-inquiry version worked. Were students given a question and some materials and then allowed to do whatever they chose to find the answer? Did they start with the question?As above, without getting too bogged down in details about the study, it might help to know what that course was like.

    *This study Spronken-Smith et al. did and published in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. The research used a survey instrument to determine how student perceptions of learning processes and intended learning outcomes (ILOs) varied in response to courses with different modes and framing of IBL. The survey was completed by 940 students in 15 IBL courses across a range of disciplines and levels. All types of IBL courses were well rated by students for encouraging learning processes and ILOs congruent with a well designed inquiry experience. Regarding modes of IBL, there was a clear hierarchy from open (most highly rated) to guided and then structured inquiry.

    *For the framing of IBL, courses using discovery-oriented IBL were more highly rated than information-oriented IBL.

    Overall the most highly rated course design was open, discovery-oriented IBL, but other types of IBL remain important in terms of developing research and inquiry skills. To determine if all types of IBL courses are promoting enhanced ILOs compared to more traditionally-taught courses, a comparative study should be undertaken.

    *There are essentially two ways to develop research or inquiry skills throughout a degree. The method adopted may depend to a large extent on your teaching context. For example, with large courses it may be impossible to run an open inquiry course at stage 1.

    Utrecht chemistry at stage 1 on day 1 students start with a group lab project must prepare and characterise a polymer (type of plastic). While the final material to prepare is clearly specified they must find out how to do this themselves. At the end of the first year all 70 students work for 3 weeks in one of the research depts. At stage 2 students visit and carry out expts in the research depts as well as do a group project relevant and authentic project; supervised by a senior PhD student. Stage 3 at the end of the year all students carry out an individual project and they contribute 10 weeks to current PhD projects.

    Ecology degree progressive development

    McMaster spiral degree *Mick, the number of groups depends on how many themes emerge*Mick, the number of groups depends on how many themes emerge*