Learning efficiency is the highest when students raise inquiries of their own accord. This highlights that they are paying attention to the lesson, grasping the concepts, raising their own queries, and learning actively.
The concept of inquiry-based learning is supported by thorough research in the area that highlights how it has a high impact on improving cognition and overall learning outcomes. If you are looking to implement inquiry-based learning in your classroom, you need handy tips and a robust implementation strategy for it to be successful.
KITABOO’s digital textbook platform helps educators create stunning learning materials for implementing inquiry-based learning in classrooms.
In this blog, you will understand the cycle of inquiry and glean how to implement inquiry-based learning in simple steps.
Table of Contents
What is Inquiry-Based Learning?
Inquiry-based learning is a pedagogical approach that aims to engage learners by creating real-world associations of theoretical concepts to trigger high-level inquiries and exploration of the topic.
This approach aims at piquing student curiosity in the subject matter and initiating a thorough discussion with the educator about the implications of different scenarios that stem from it.
Inquiry-based learning helps educators achieve more complex teaching goals than what instructional lesson delivery can deliver. This is because, through inquiry-based learning, the questions and doubts are initiated by the students instead of the teacher handing out workbooks and exercises for them to do.
The Stages in an Inquiry Cycle
There are six different stages in inquiry-based learning, which together complete a full circle, completing the cycle of inquiry:
This is the first stage of inquiry-based learning, where students are presented with a concept that triggers the “I wonder if” or “What if” scenarios in their minds.
This is the second stage in which the students begin to brainstorm about the concept – either individually or in collaboration. They aim to arrive at a possible solution, explanation, or procedure that answers their query.
In the third stage, the students are actively thinking about how their possibilities would apply to the query raised. This is where they are theorizing about a solution.
In this stage, the students apply their plan to the query and arrive at an outcome. This tells them whether or not their approach was right.
This is the stage where students gather the evidence of their successes or failures for improved iterations. The lessons learned will be applied to new solutions that they devise.
This is the final stage of the inquiry cycle, where students share and exhibit the results they received from their explorative exercise over a query.
Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning through Two Unique Models
There are many ways to implement inquiry-based learning in a classroom. The two models described below employ two different levels of difficulty for the students to navigate.
Let’s understand their implementation in detail.
Guided Discovery Model
The Guided Discovery Model gives educators some level of control over how an inquiry comes about. The educators provide students with solid questions and materials they can use to find solutions.
The students are then free to take the course forward from there. It can be implemented in the following way:
- The teachers must first prepare the questions, activities, experiences, or experiments that they want the students to explore.
- The teachers can then begin the inquiry-based learning program by giving the students a brief introduction to the concept and distributing the prepared materials.
- The students are to be given some time and opportunity to carry out their discovery process. Teachers may be required to give encouragement to students who are struggling and guide them.
- Teachers are also free to plant hints throughout the materials to catalyze the discovery process. The aim of this model is to encourage students to approach learning with an open, explorative, and experimentative mindset.
The 5-E model is carried out in 5 phases: Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation.
Here is how you can implement it:
- Engagement: In this phase, the teacher provides an interesting approach or a motivator to the students. This is what carries the learning forward, as it helps form the basis for further investigation of the subject matter.
- Exploration: This is the phase where students commence their investigation of the subject matter. During this discovery process, the students are free to use the materials provided as they please, share their findings with each other, and discuss their approach with the teacher.
- Explanation: In the third phase, the teachers ask students to summarize their findings and share them. The teachers also introduce students to relevant concepts and procedures, provide encouragement, and establish connections and associations to the experience. Through sharing and discussion, the teacher explains the solution to the concept.
- Elaboration: In this stage, students are encouraged to make connections and associations of the learned concept to new situations and scenarios to solidify their learning further. This is where inquiry-based learning goes one step further than instruction-based learning, beyond memorization.
Evaluation: In this phase, the teachers take assessments and tests to gauge the level of understanding and outcome the inquiry-based learning approach has generated. They also provide feedback and encouragement to students.
Lending a Technological Helping Hand
Implementing inquiry-based learning involves a thorough understanding of this pedagogy and how it works. Teachers need a robust platform that allows them to design the right kind of learning material for use in such teaching methods.
Using KITABOO’s digital textbook platform, teachers can create electronic learning media by incorporating modern concepts, like animation, gamification, interactivity, and so much more. In addition to enhancing the level of engagement in the inquiry-based learning module, such materials can help boost retention and elevate the learning experience as well.
To understand how KITABOO can offer more solutions for inquiry-based learning, visit the website.
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