Unit 5 - Enquiry-based learning and project work

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Students gathering soil samples.jpg

AUDIO

Practical enquiry-based activities

Priscillah tells us about her students' willingness to be involved in practical enquiry-based activities undertaken as part of the OER4Schools programme.

Priscillah speaking about students' attitudes to enquiry-based learning.mp3, 01:04,(Series: OER4Schools audio, episode 01)


The unit introduces how to work in an “enquiry-based” way, for instance learning through project work and in-depth, open-ended investigations. We explore a way of teaching and learning that encourages students to take the initiative to pose questions and explore their curiosity about the world around them, through a process of enquiry.

5.1 - Introduction to enquiry-based learning
In this session you will learn about:
  • De Bono's PMI (positive/minus/interesting) technique to encourage analytical thinking
  • the aims and process of enquiry-based learning
  • preparing for enquiry-based learning through a series of lessons and a ‘project day’ or ‘field trip’ for mathematics or science classes
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • apply DeBono's PMI technique to the fictitious scenario of plants being able to walk
  • watch videos of different teachers introducing enquiry-based lessons and discuss
  • in groups, decide on a suitable topic area for extended project work and plan an outline (to include learning objectives)
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • online simulations
  • how to use these in the context of EBL
5.2 - Starting the enquiry-based learning process
In this session you will learn about:
  • posing real and productive questions to get the most from enquiry-based learning
  • different ways to start off an enquiry-based learning lesson (e.g. brainstorm)
  • preparing for an enquiry-based learning session through a series of lessons and a ‘project day’ or ‘field trip’ for maths or science classes
  • 4 levels of enquiry involving different amounts of student independence:
    • demonstrated enquiry
    • structured enquiry
    • problem-solving enquiry
    • independent enquiry
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • play a questioning game to practise using open and real questions
  • continue to plan a a ‘project day’ or ‘field trip’ taking into account the four main parts of an enquiry based learning lesson:
    • posing productive questions
    • finding resources/doing an experiment
    • interpreting information
    • reporting findings
  • do a PMI activity on the 4 levels of enquiry
  • watch a sequence of videos focusing on the nature of the questions used by the teacher
In this session you will continue to apply the ICT skills you have learnt so far for EBL, and to think about how they help you implement EBL in the classroom.
5.3 - Collecting and interpreting information: Part one
In this session you will learn about:
  • using short enquiry tasks to introduce the idea of enquiry based learning to your students
  • collecting and interpreting data in an enquiry-based lesson
  • the importance of recording the results of enquiries
  • collecting accurate and reliable data
  • preparing for an enquiry-based learning session through a series of lessons and a ‘project day’ or ‘field trip’ for maths or science classes
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • review a short perimeter and area enquiry task on Geogebra
  • complete a simple data collection exercise on personal profiles
  • watch a video as a stimulus for discussion on encouraging students to record their findings during enquiries
  • watch a video sequence illustrating a procedural error and refine resources and data collection process to minimise such errors
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • GeoGebra, perimeter and area.

Also, as in the previous session, you will continue to apply the ICT skills you have learnt so far for EBL, and to think about how they help you implement EBL in the classroom.

5.4 - Collecting and interpreting information: Part two
In this session you will learn about:
  • making predictions during enquiries
  • dealing with unexpected outcomes
  • similarities between the scientific method and enquiry based learning
  • collecting accurate and reliable data
  • preparing for an enquiry-based learning session through a series of lessons and a ‘project day’ or ‘field trip’ for maths or science classes
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • watch a video sequence as a stimulus for discussion on encouraging students to make predictions during enquiries
  • watch a video sequence of students recording data and discuss the level of guidance provided by the teacher
  • do an activity to correctly organise the steps in the scientific method
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • GeoGebra, perimeter and area.

Also, as in the previous session, you will continue to apply the ICT skills you have learnt so far for EBL, and to think about how they help you implement EBL in the classroom.

5.5 - Presenting findings of enquiries
In this session you will learn about:
  • what to look out for in presenting data and findings for an EBL lesson
  • how to present the results of an EBL activity
  • how EBL activities can be carried out more seamlessly in ‘everyday’ lessons
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • watch three examples of student presentations and discuss stimulus questions as a whole group
  • present in groups the results of an enquiry using presentation rubric as guidance
  • reflect on what you have learned about EBL using an inventory based on the material covered in this unit
In this session you will continue to apply the ICT skills

you have learnt so far for EBL, and to think about how they help you implement EBL in the classroom.