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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence


Recruitment & Admissions Office - Brantford Campus

Laurier Brantford establishes Inquiry Based Learning

May 6/09

Building on our tradition of unique academic programming and one of a kind curriculum, Laurier Brantford will be introducing a new initiative in the classroom beginning in September 2009.

Inquiry Based learning, or IBL, is an umbrella term used to describe a range of teaching methods, all designed to help students learn through the exploration of a research problem. At the core of IBL is the principle that students can, and should be given greater responsibility for their own learning process. Instead of relying on the more traditional lecture/tutorial format, IBL places students in small, self-directed teams aimed at articulating the research problem, identifying relevant resources and using those resources to reach a conclusion.

The specific form of IBL Laurier Brantford will be using will involve small groups of ten students, and two faculty members who will facilitate each seminar. In the first phase, background information about the research problem will be circulated, and students will identify what they know about the problem, and what they need to know in order to provide viable options for solutions. For their next class, the students will engage in research in order to answer the research questions they have set for themselves. Classes will end with a "group processing session" in which all participants evaluate one another (instructors included), with an aim to better understand how the group is functioning, and possible areas of improvement.

Inquiry Based Learning is currently being used in a wide range of teaching situations, from individual courses to entire degrees with post-graduates and undergraduates alike. This will provide students with a unique learning experience, and the faculty at Laurier Brantford feel that it is an important way of giving first-year students a small group experience and helping them "learn how to learn".

Inquiry Based Learning will be required in specific sections of CT 121 The World in the 21st Century and students should refer to the first year student registration guide for more information.


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