Inquiry-Based Learning (Teaching and Learning)

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Grounded in constructivism and social constructivism, inquiry-based learning (IBL) (also known as enquiry-based learning/EBL) describes an educational approach in which, "learning is driven by a process of enquiry owned by the student. Starting with a ‘scenario’ and with the guidance of a facilitator, students identify their own issues and questions. They then examine the resources they need to research the topic, thereby acquiring the requisite knowledge" (Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning, the University of Manchester).

IBL shares many similarities with problem-based learning (PBL). For example, in both IBL and PBL, students tackle with a challenging and open-ended question, and the instructor acts as a facilitator for students' learning. However, while PBL begins with the instructor posing a problem to students, IBL "begins with the exploration of a theme that leads the student to formulate a central question on their own, with the aim of developing the skills needed to bring research to bear on the understanding of that question" (Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Saskatchewan).


IBL Theory and Practice

  • A guide to inquiry-based learning. (2009). Agora, 44(1), 4-11. Ubc-elink.png
  • Deignan, T. (2009). Enquiry-based learning: Perspectives on practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(1), 13-28. Ubc-elink.png
  • Duffy, T. M., & Raymer, P. L. (2010). A practical guide and a constructivist rationale for inquiry based learning. Educational Technology, 50(4), 3-15. (The article is available only in hard copy at the UBC Library.) Ubc-elink.png
  • Gonzalez, J. J. (2013). My journey with inquiry-based learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 24(2), 33-50. Ubc-elink.png
  • Jennings, L. B., & Mills, H. (2010). Inquiry-based learning. In T. C. Hunt, J. C. Carper, T. J. Lasley II & C. D. Raisch (Eds.), Encyclopedia of educational reform and dissent (pp. 467-469). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ubc-elink.png
  • Justice, C., Rice, J., Roy, D., Hudspith, B., & Jenkins, H. (2009). Inquiry-based learning in higher education: Administrators' perspectives on integrating inquiry pedagogy into the curriculum. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 58(6), 841-855. Ubc-elink.png
  • Lattas, J. (2009). Inquiry-based learning: A tertiary perspective. Agora, 44(1), 12-16. Ubc-elink.png
  • 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. Ubc-elink.png
  • McLinden, M., & Edwards, C. (2011). Developing a culture of enquiry-based, independent learning in a research-led institution: Findings from a survey of pedagogic practice. International Journal for Academic Development, 16(2), 147-162. Ubc-elink.png
  • Spronken-Smith, R., Walker, R., Batchelor, J., O'Steen, B., & Angelo, T. (2011). Enablers and constraints to the use of inquiry-based learning in undergraduate education. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), 15-28. Ubc-elink.png
  • Steed, C. (2009). Inquiry-based learning: Personalisation or the rehabilitation of human value. Curriculum Journal, 20(4), 465-475. Ubc-elink.png

IBL in Large Groups/Classrooms

  • Oliver, R. (2007). Exploring an inquiry-based learning approach with first-year students in a large undergraduate class. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 44(1), 3-15. Ubc-elink.png
  • Oliver, R. (2008). Engaging first year students using a web-supported inquiry-based learning setting. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 55(3), 285-301. Ubc-elink.png

IBL in English/Lieteracy Education

  • Beach, R., & Myers, J. (2001). Inquiry-based English instruction: Engaging students in life and literature. New York: Teachers College Press. Ubc-elink.png
  • Chisholm, J. S., & Godley, A. J. (2011). Learning about language through inquiry-based discussion: Three bidialectal high school students' talk about dialect variation, identity, and power. Journal of Literacy Research, 43(4), 430-468. Ubc-elink.png
  • Ghahremani-Ghajar, S., Mohammadi Doostdar, H., & Mirhosseini, S. (2012). "We have been living with this pain": Enquiry-based language learning in Iranian higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), 269-281. Ubc-elink.png
  • Manista, F. C., & Gillespie, M. P. (2011). Using enquiry-based learning methods to teach "Finnegans Wake" to undergraduates. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 10(1), 85-98. Ubc-elink.png
  • Zeek, S. (2011). Teaching the research paper through inquiry-based instruction. Inquiry, 16(1), 75-85. Ubc-elink.png

Online Resources

See Also

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