Inquiry Based Learning Infographic

published by Peter Parkinson

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Instructional Strategy
Building knowledge through experience, exploration, and guidance.
Inquiry Based Learning
On the road of education there is not always a map or guide to tell us how and what we should be learning. The Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) strategy approaches learning as a responsibility of both the student and the teacher, where students learn by doing, and are given only the destination and direction of their learning journey.
IBL engages students in creative problem solving, critical thinking, and evidence based reasoning by putting their questions, observations, and ideas at the centre of the learning experience. Instead of an Instructor telling students what they need to know, it uses guided questions and activities to drive curiosity on a subject, while the educator experience can be used as a resource when students feel they have hit a learning roadblock. Finally, students share what they have learned with their peers, the resources they found, and how they came to their conclusions. The learning outcome is evaluated, as well as the process of the learning, with a strong emphasis on reflection.
Inquiry Based Learning Strategy
Determine what the question or questions about the topic are.
Formulate a plan or procedure on how to research or investigate those question(s).
Exploring relevant resources and collecting information.
Use the facts based evidence discovered to develop an explanation.
Presenting finding, procedure, and resources, used in final conclusions.
Facilitating Inquiry Based Learning
Reflecting on what was learned and how the learning process influenced the results.
IBL is focused on the learner, but the Instructor still has a vital role in facilitating the learning process, providing guidance and sharing their experience when student progress is halted. To support learners it is important to ensure that the questions being asked are going to effectively guide the investigation progress, monitor the inquiry process, and provide regular feedback that encourages self-assessment. Students need to take and share responsibility for their learning. IBL requires students to be self directed and motivated, genuinely curious about the topic, and to embrace the scientific method through the learning process.
Facilitating Inquiry Based Learning
Engages students i the learning process. Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills. Develops ongoing self learners with 21st Century skills.
Time consuming to plan and implement effectively. Can be difficult to set and measure standards for grading. Not true inquiry due the boundaries set by guided questions or topics.
Classroom Considerations
As an instructional strategy, Inquiry Based Learning allows students to take control of their learning, become engaged through genuine curiosity, share and learn with others, all while following the foundations of good inquiry.