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Module 2: Description of Information Learning Activity

The fourteen students involved in this Information Learning Activity (ILA) are a Year 8 English distance education cohort.  To implement the Australian Curriculum, the Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) resource was developed to deliver a comprehensive set of whole-school and classroom planning materials for single level and multi-level classes, students with disability and for students who study through the schools of distance education. The topic is one set by the C2C: Creating Short Stories. So my students are joining me on a safari to seek out information and create short stories as well as choosing or designing illustrations. The instructional design of the ILA is based on the Alberta Inquiry Model with 10 x 70 minute online lessons delivered through Collaborate. 

Inquiry Learning Process

Focus on Inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning: p 10. https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

The students are provided with 2 x 70 minute sessions after lesson 5 to complete their first draft which is submitted online for teacher and peer feedback.  From the feedback given, the students revise their draft and complete a final piece for assessment to be completed within a further 3 x 70 minutes sessions after lesson 10. The learning outcomes are outlined below:

Lesson intent

Taken from C2C Unit 7 Year 8 Lesson 1.

The first lesson began the planning phase and students posed questions to be researched, where they would go for answers and they mapped out a plan for possible future lessons. I introduced the thinking skill – ‘examine’ and we examined the set assessment task and the evaluation criteria (Guide to Making Judgements).

AT1

AT2

Images created by Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE) Year 8 English teachers for Unit 7 C2C: Creating Short Stories.

Guide to Making Judgements revised by BSDE Year 8 teachers for Unit 7 C2C: Creating Short Stories: Guide to Making Judgements

 

References:

Branch, J. Odberg, D.  (2004). Focus on Inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning. Alberta Learning Teaching and Resources Branch. Alberta, Canada. Retrieved on 18th August, 2014 from https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

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Inquiry Learning Post 1: Initial Search

What do I know?

I do not know a lot about inquiry learning other than it has questions at its heart for students to consider and research. I have not used inquiry learning with any of my Year 8 English classes.

question images

Question marks coming out of a box. image question mark

What do I want to know?

How do I find what inquiry learning is? I am not currently using this learning process and my understanding of it is very limited. How do I choose which information is relevant and not relevant? My mission with inquiry learning is to not only understand what it is but eventually, how do I translate this to my own context?

How do I find out?

Initial Internet search for information on Inquiry learning:

On searching the Internet initially using Google and the words, ‘inquiry learning’ an overwhelming amount of information came up, in fact over eight million choices were given. Too many and how do I decide which ones are best?

Google Search 1

Screen Shot of Google Search 1

Using Google and the words, ‘inquiry learning ‘ and ‘distance education’ to refine my search, there were still over two million choices. What arouses my interest is that there are some recommended scholarly articles. Could these hold something that is useful for me?

Google search 2

 Screen Shot of Google Search 2

In the scholarly articles suggested at the top of the page, I found an article which described what a inquiry community looks like in the distance mode. Jackson (2013) quotes from Garrison et al. (1999) that, a successful online Community of Inquiry is one in which each student is engaged by set tasks (“cognitive presence”); feels challenged and supported by the teacher (“teaching presence”); and feels part of the community (“social presence”).  This, at least, gives a basis to begin delving further into what do we do in this community but it is what competent distance educators should already be doing with their classes. Perhaps using distance education as a filter is not  pertinent to my search as I really need to focus on inquiry learning and not muddle my searches with other contingencies.

As I scroll down I do find a link to a site, Work Sheet Library, which appears to have a comprehensive outline of what inquiry learning is about and succinct image depicting the process.   It is a simple help sheet with enough information to provide an overview of inquiry learning.

imageinquiregifWork Sheet Library http://www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/inquiry.html

Moving further down, I locate a site which some information on inquiry learning. As I read through it I see a link to a document on inquiry learning in Alberta, Canada. This is what I have been looking for as the information here is extensive and relatively recent being 2004. I will be keeping this for further reference.

Document on IL

Focus on Inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning: p ix. https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

Inquiry Learning Process

Focus on Inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning: p 10. https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

From this initial experience, I have located some information that should be useful in answering questions that I have. I now understand more about the concept of inquiry learning.  Coming from a point of knowing little of the subject I now have some effective key words and filters to assist with my searches.

What do I want to know?

 1) Are there inquiry frameworks  for specific ages and/or subjects specifically English?

2) How do we work as a team, (TL, teacher, other) to recognise/identify critical learning from ACARA and then begin an inquiry process?

3) How do we ensure that we meet deadlines of curriculum while  allowing students time for in-depth investigations?

 

The safari continues…

safari images

image safari

References:

Branch, J. Odberg, D.  (2004). Focus on Inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning. Alberta Learning Teaching and Resources Branch. Alberta, Canada. Retrieved on 18th August, 2014 from https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

Jackson, L. C. (2013). Establishing an online community of inquiry at the Distance Education Centre Victoria . Masters by Coursework & Shorter thesis, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne.

Clarke, Jody. (2009). Exploring the complexity of inquiry learning in an open-ended problem space. Harvard University Cambridge, MA, USA.

Image definition of inquiry learning and Reflecting on the Process. Retrieved 27 July, 2014 from https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

Safari image. Retrieved 27 July, 2014 from image safari.

Work Sheet Library. (2007) Inquiry-based Learning. Retrieved on 18th August, 2014 from  http://www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/inquiry.html