Inquiry-based learning stands as a crucial method for fostering meaningful learning engagement with the audience. It revolves around prompting learners to think critically using the question-and-answer method operating at a higher level of Bloom’s taxonomy. This blog, will delve into some examples and advantages of inquiry-based learning, shedding light on its pivotal role in enhancing learning outcomes.
Inquiry-based learning represents a methodology wherein learners grasp content by posing higher-order questions, delving into analysis and evaluation, and establishing connections... The fundamental goal is to encourage the application of critical thinking, emphasizing the significance of the subject matter at hand. In simpler words, it propels learners into problem-solving activities and active participation through experiential learning. In the context of eLearning or digital learning format, inquiry-based learning can be effectively applied using some techniques, which we will explore later.
As per the learning models, such as Kolb’s Learning Cycle and other models that emphasize learning styles, inquiry-based learning comes under the abstract thinking and experimenting part. It surpasses mere hands-on-learning; it is about prompting learners to pose the right questions and subsequently finding the answers to them.
The simplest example of inquiry-based learning is confirmation inquiry, wherein the learners are presented with questions and guided on the method of reaching the answer. The questions compel the learners to delve deeply into the problem, applying critical thinking to discern plausible solutions to the question.
Deeper methods of inquiry-based learning introduce challenges to learners through open-ended questions, motivating learners to undertake research and find out the solutions.
While traditionally utilized in schools and undergraduate programs to encourage critical thinking and improve problem-solving abilities within a classroom format. Advancements in digital learning have extended the application of inquiry-based learning to formats such as microlearning, videos, and gamification.
For inquiry-based learning to work in the digital format, the questions and problems need to be well defined. Inquiry-based learning helps in better engagement when compared to standard learning methods. L&D professionals can utilize this format well to improve learning outcomes as well as engagement with their employees.
Here are three main benefits of inquiry-based learning:
1. Improves the reinforcement of key concepts
Through the Q&A format in inquiry-based learning, the questions asked are more pertinent to the subject and elicit better engagement from the learner. By incorporating remediation to the mix, you have a potent combination that will impact the learners positively. For instance, if you ask a question and allow learners to choose from multiple options and prompting learners to reassess their confidence in their answers, you can derive a multitude of responses which you can analyze. This eliminates guesswork and assesses whether learners have genuinely comprehended the subject. Add remediation urging learners to revisit the question upon incorrect responses , enhances reinforcement, aiding better retention to key concepts
2. Improves brain chemistry
Inquiry-based learning stimulates learners’ memory to focus better on the subject at hand. Happy chemicals are released whenever there is a challenge for the learners. This heightened engagement positively influences learning and concept retention. The aim is to cultivate curiosity within learners about their learning environment.
3. Allows for experiential learning
With inquiry-based learning, learners can use higher-order thinking skills such as analyzing problems, synthesizing different unrelated or related concepts, and evaluate various options.. When faced with a challenge, learners act as detectives, examining information from different perspectives to solve problems. This broadens their horizons and transforms them into adept thinkers and learners.
In the online learning or eLearning format, deploying questionnaires, surveys, open-ended questions proves effective in extracting the desired responses from learners. Inquiry-based learning thrives when implemented thoughtfully.
In conclusion, inquiry-based learning emerges as a great method for improving learning outcomes. Its diverse applications underscore its versatility and effectiveness in various contexts.
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