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Creating Assignments for Inquiry-Based Learning

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by

William Badke

on 4 October 2016

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Transcript of Creating Assignments for Inquiry-Based Learning

We should move to a mentoring model:
Our students encounter barriers:
1. Not understanding our assignments
2. Not understanding our disciplinary culture
3. Not having the research skills required
4. Not asking for help, because, "You should know how to do this"
5. Having only one shot to get it right
Research projects are summative (no second chances)
But this only works if students know what they are doing.
Today, information skills are as important as subject content
Not only do students not develop such skills on their own, but creating information able students takes a lot more time than we are currently devoting to it.
Example Two
1. Break assignments into components
2. Set competency standards so students only move on when they have mastery
Steps:
1. Do some close readings of good research writing in your discipline
2. Set personal goals for good research and write assignments that teach to
those goals (rubrics)
2. Clarify your assignments and ensure students understand them.

Professor goal: To have students use a journal database to come up with high quality resources
Research assignment step two (submit for assessment by [date])

1. Locate Academic Search Complete and view the tutorial for it.
2. Do a search on your topic in Academic Search Complete, using a few keywords from your research question. Keep the initial search simple (2-4 words).
3. On the results page limit to scholarly works (left column).
4. Narrow your search, using Subject: Thesaurus term or Subject (left column).
5. Save the articles you want (blue icon to the right of each citation) and generate a bibliography in APA format.

Hint to professor: A librarian class visit might help here.
Example Three
Professor goal: To have students recognize the conversation of viewpoints on the issue.
Assignment Step Three (Submit for assessment by [date])

1. Identify the main points of view on the issue in your research question (areas in which scholars see things differently).
2. List the main scholars supporting each view.
3. Indicate which view you tend to support
and why?
Example one:
Professor goal: To have the student use critical thinking in research.
Research Assignment step one (submit for assessment by [date])

1. Choose a topic
2. Develop a basic working knowledge of the topic's main features
3. Identify an issue related to the topic - something that is an existing problem or an existing gap in our understanding.
4. Write a problem-based research question that is one sentence.

Not:
What is the plight of polar bears in a warming Arctic?
But -
What is the best way to preserve polar bear populations in light of climate change?
(see more at http://bit.ly/2dPXU2k)
Creating Assignments for Inquiry-Based Learning
Information handling, critical thinking and research ability all need to be taught side by side with content, so that research competency becomes an equal player with knowledge competency.

Research competency can be taught in a systematic, through-the-curriculum manner, as well as being nuanced by disciplines.
The main points:
Possible Rubric:
Research question is narrowly focused, requires analysis to answer (i.e. it's not just the compiling of existing information), and shows promise to be researchable.


Possible Rubric:
1. Search terms are drawn from the research question and are formulated correctly.

2. Effective subject headings are used.

3. Results are specifically relevant to the research question and are of good quality (scholarly).
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