Designing and Teaching an Inquiry 444 Seminar Approaches and Strategies Presented by Discovery Program Advisory Committee and Center for Teaching Excellence January 12, 2006 Today’s Agenda The 444 proposal and approval process--an administrative overview
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Approaches and Strategies
Discovery Program Advisory Committee
Center for Teaching Excellence
January 12, 2006
The 444 syllabus is just like any other good syllabus--only more so.
1. The instructor encourages the development of multiple perspectives and involves students in a number of different approaches
to the question, problem, or subject of the course.
2. The instructor works to draw students into the process of scholarly investigation; the instructor does not assume that the
communication of information is the primary point of the course.
3. The course syllabus provides a road map that guides the process of increasingly informed inquiry; the reading assignments are
selected to facilitate the process. Your syllabus should make it clear how an inquiry-based approach will be
integrated into the course. Please be as specific as you can at this point about writing assignments and other
assessment measures and include a copy of your syllabus.
4. The instructor works individually with students to identify obstacles to the student’s development as an active learner
and competent communicator.
5. The course allows students to develop the ability to formulate good questions, and students learn to evaluate their questions
6. Students learn to identify and collect appropriate evidence; present results systematically, formulate conclusions, and evaluate the importance of their conclusions.
Most Inquiry courses will focus on a particular issue or topic and use multiple
intellectual frameworks for analysis, providing students with opportunities
to link and compare a variety of approaches to a particular problem.
Inquiry courses, that is, either should be interdisciplinary or should use multiple
perspectives for examining the same questions.
2. The instructor does not assume that the communication of information is the primary point of the course; rather, the instructor works to draw students into the process of scholarly investigation.
Systematic inquiry is fundamental to every field and discipline. Inquiry courses emphasize questions, perhaps
presented as “working hypotheses” that then lead students to and through the process of gathering
information to refine their working hypotheses. Regularly, students have the opportunity to test out their
hypotheses and share perspectives with peers and the faculty member. The process of the course is
characterized by discussion and debate.
3. The instructor thinks carefully about when to assign readings and how to present the subject of the course. The syllabus provides a road map that guides the process of increasingly informed inquiry.
Course readings and other sources of information will be used to help students understand the central
questions and current state of knowledge in a given field of study. More importantly, readings
will facilitate the process of inquiry and exploration. They should encourage students to think
about what constitutes a good question and what type of information is needed to answer that question.
The instructor should not direct students towards pre-conceived questions and answers – that is,
the right questions and answers that the instructor was looking for all along – but the instructor
should anticipate certain stages of the course, opportunities to stop, reflect, and work towards
the next level of inquiry and understanding. The syllabus should both reflect and guide this process.
4. The instructor works individually with students to identify obstacles to the student's development as an active learner and competent communicator
Inquiry courses maintain a 1/25 faculty-student ratio in order to allow for the individual attention that is central
to this course. Since the goal of the course is to introduce students to methods of intellectual investigation that
they will use throughout their university career, it is important to attend to individual weaknesses
and learning styles. Regular and individualized faculty-student contact is a fundamental expectation
of the course.
http://www.ncsu.edu/firstyearinquiry/resources/perry_model.htm (William Perry’s model)
http://www.uiowa.edu/~centeach/tgi/ (Teaching goals inventory)
5. The course allows students to develop the ability to formulate good questions, and students learn to evaluate their questions and methods.
Research suggests that first-year students enter college searching for the “right answer.” Many feel that
they have the ability to learn these right answers and that higher education is really just the process of
giving back the “right answers” at the right time. Inquiry-based first-year courses fundamentally challenge
this orientation by emphasizing the centrality of questions in the process of learning. Thus, professors
may encounter resistance from students until students recognize the value of inquiry and feel that
the course provides a safe environment as the basis of “their” inquiry. Asking “good questions”
is an important intended learning objective. Students should learn that the answer to any given
question can change depending on the method of inquiry used to address the question.
6. Students learn to identify and collect appropriate evidence, present results systematically, formulate conclusions, and evaluate the importance of those conclusions
The process of inquiry directs students to seek, consider, and use or reject information as they systematically
consider “their questions” or “working hypotheses.” Determining what constitutes information to answer
these questions becomes a critical component of the inquiry model. Some information will be gathered from
published research. Other information will be generated as a result of directed inquiries such as interviews and
field studies. Enhanced oral and written communication abilities are expected outcomes of inquiry. Students
should be required to write and speak coherently as they describe the process of inquiry and the results
of that process. Faculty are expected to introduce students to the appropriate methods for communicating
research findings, and to guide students through the process of preparing their written and/or oral presentations.
Throughout the course as well as at the end of the course, students must describe their inquiry and reflect
upon the results associated with their intellectual journey.