Grounded in constructivism, inquiry-based learning is a broader term for hands-on, active learning that is driven by inquiry. Learners process concepts through scenarios, questions, or issues that enable them to self-direct their own learning. There are four commonly-referenced levels of inquiry used in inquiry-based education (Wikipedia, 2018):
- Confirmation Inquiry – An educator provides a problem and the procedure for learners to address it, where results are already known.
- Structured Inquiry – An educator provides a problem and the procedure for learners to address it, where the results are not already known.
- Guided Inquiry – An educator provides a problem, allowing learners to select a procedure to address it, where the results are not already known.
- Open/True Inquiry – Learners select the problem and the procedure to address it, where the results are not already known.
Related to inquiry-based learning, there are a few techniques distinguished by specific characteristics:
- Case-based learning (CBL). CBL utilizes cases or scenarios common in the respective field. Learners work in groups to use and apply knowledge and solve or diagnose problems.
- Project-based and Problem-based learning (PBL). These two PBL models share the same acronym but differ in methodology. Although both can be used interchangeably, they are intended for very different results. In project-based learning, learners
work in groups or individually on a process that results in a product, presentation, or performance (Moursand, 2006). In contrast, problem-based learning is most successful in a group or collaborative setting to solve a complex, open-ended,
real-world issue or problem (David, 2014; Husain, 2011).
- Discovery-based learning (DBL). DBL is a specific type of active learning strategy that allows learners to have hands-on opportunities that focus on the process of learning through inquiry and the exploration of concepts. Failure and feedback
are both important and necessary for learning to occur. Discovery-based learning is characterized by three main attributes:
- Using exploration and problem-solving to create, integrate, and generalize knowledge.
- Using learner-driven, interest-based activities where learners determine sequence and frequency.
- Involving activities to encourage integration of new knowledge into learner’s existing knowledge (Bicknell-Holmes & Hoffman, 2000, as cited in Castronova, 2002, p. 3).
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Harvard Business Publishing Education (2018). Case studies. Retrieved from https://hbsp.harvard.edu/cases/
National Science Foundation. (1999-2018). National center for case study teaching in science. Retrieved from http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/
Planning for Case-Based Learning. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.bioquest.org/lifelines/PlanningStages.html
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. (2018). Improving use of case studies. Retrieved from https://www.uww.edu/learn/improving/restiptool/improve-case-studies
25 Creative ways to incorporate more project-based learning in the classroom [blog].
University of Delaware. (n.d.). PBL clearinghouse. Retrieved from http://www1.udel.edu/pblc/
Miami Dade College. (2018). Project/problem-based learning (PBL) educator’s resource: Project-based learning resources. Retrieved from https://libraryguides.mdc.edu/pbl
Sam Houston State University. (n.d.). Project-based learning in higher education. Retrieved from http://www.shsu.edu/centers/project-based-learning/higher-education.html
The Geological Society of America. (2018). Inquiry and discovery-based projects within introductory courses. Retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/undergraduate_research/intro.html
Castronova, J., (2002). Discovery learning for the 21st century: What is it and how does it compare to traditional learning ineffectiveness in the 21st century? Literature Reviews, Action Research Exchange (ARE), 1(2). Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/10871733/Discovery_Learning_for_the_21st_Century_What_is_it_and_how_does_it_compare_to_traditional_learning_in_effectiveness_in_the_21st_Century
David, L. (2014).Problem-based learning (PBL), in Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/problem-based-learning-pbl.html
Husain, A. (2011). Problem-based learning: A current model of education. Oman Med, 25(4). 295. DOI: 100.500/omj/2011.74
Wikipedia contributors. (2018, May 31). Inquiry-based learning. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:58, July 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Inquiry-based_learning&oldid=843725117