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Updated by Vanessa Salway on Aug 30, 2014
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Inquiry learning, information literacy & higher education

Designing and sharing inquiry-based learning activities (Desila) : Jisc

The project aims to implement and evaluate LAMS, a tool that supports design for learning and the sharing and reuse of learning designs, in a real-life case study context of development and innovation in ‘blended’ and fully online forms of IBL in HE specifically within arts and social sciences disciplines.

'Engaging First Year Students Using a Web-supported Inquiry-based Learn' by Ron Oliver

This paper describes a study that explored the utility and efficacy of the application of a Web-based tool to promote learner engagement among first year students in a large class in an undergraduate communications degree. The Web-based tool was developed to support an inquiry-based learning approach that was characterised by strong learning scaffolds, meaningful contexts, feedback and support and administrative efficiencies. The study explored the forms of engagement that the Web-supported inquiry-based learning approach was able to engender among first year undergraduate students and the factors that were found to influence students’ levels of engagement and achievement in the approach.

Inquiry based teaching and learning: What's in a name

A conference paper delivered at HERDC in 2003, reports on an investigation into what faculty and educators perceive IBL to be. The lack of consensual understanding makes it difficult to identify best practices and develop support resources.

Information literacy through inquiry: using problem-based learning in…

Slide presentation: This paper presents the findings of a largely action research project, introducing problem-based information literacy instruction for final year undergraduate …

Inquiry-based Learning and Information Literacy

A workshop led by Pamela McKinney at the LILAC conference March 2008

What is inquiry learning?

In a previous post, I described inquiry learning as comprising three elements: 1)  questioning frameworks 2)  information literacy / information seeking  process 3)  an action research cycle My con...

IL is dead, long live IL!

In this post I argue that information literacy (IL) is a last century concept and that inquiry learning (IL) is a more holistic and powerful framework with which to understand how people learn to f...

Developing academic information literacy for undergraduates through inquiry based learning: Innovation in Teaching an...

This paper describes the design and implementation of an information literacy module for first semester undergraduate students at Loughborough University. These students were taking Information Management and either Business Studies or Computing, or a degree in Publishing with English or Publishing with E-business or Web Development and Design. The purpose of the module was to enable them to work effectively in the higher education context and be able to research topics, using the resources around them and conform to the norms associated with student work. 

Information Fluency for Undergraduate Biology Majors: Applications of Inquiry-based Learning in a Developmental Biolo...

inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects.

Mapping the Territory: a new direction for information literacy in the digital age

Mapping the Territory: a new direction for information literacy in the digital age/ Annamarie McKie
* Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education*

This paper reflects on a research project called Mapping the Territory at the University for the Creative Arts. The project, which began in 2006, seeks to investigate a new pedagogy for information literacy. The project team has been looking at an integrated approach between librarians, study advisors and key academic staff in order to develop workshops that actively engage learners and help them to develop transferable skills in information literacy and information behaviour. Our research so far has focused on an extensive literature review exploring areas such as inquiry based learning, information behaviour, cognitivist theories and the nature of research in art and design.

Information Literacy through inquiry: a Level One psychology module at the University of Sheffield.

Paper: embedded information literacy development in a Level One module using an 
inquiry-based learning pedagogical approach. Students worked collaboratively to find 
news stories that were purportedly based on real psychological research and then 
searched for the related research paper. They reflected on this task and the 
differences between the two sources as part of the assessed work for the module. 

A new curriculum for information literacy: curriculum and supporting documents - LSE Research Online

This short project developed a practical curriculum for information literacy that meets the needs of the undergraduate student entering higher education over the next five years. It consulted widely with experts in the information literacy field, and also those working in curriculum design and educational technologies

The Role of Academic Libraries in Mentored Undergraduate Research: A Model of Engagement in the Academic Community

Mentored undergraduate research is an emergent pedagogy in higher education. It differs fundamentally from course-related student research and is largely independent of the curriculum. Academic libraries should engage formally with the undergraduate research community. To do so, librarians will need to think and work beyond traditional models of library service, most notably in information literacy programs. The intent of this article is to raise awareness about opportunities for library involvement with undergraduate researchers and programs. Lessons from one university, including a formal partnership between a library and an undergraduate research center, suggest some general strategies that academic libraries might explore.


Levy, Philippa (2012). "How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the im...

Levy, Philippa (2012). "How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the im...

First-year undergraduates on degree programmes in the arts, humanities and social sciences were found to experience inquiry and research in four distinct ways. Research as ‘gathering information’ and ‘exploring others' ideas’. Research as ‘evidencing and developing students' own ideas’ and ‘making discoveries’. Students described opportunities to frame their own lines of inquiry as especially empowering in their intellectual and personal development. They also highlighted their need for support in carrying out research and inquiry. The authors present a conceptual framework for inquiry-based learning that was developed on the basis of this study, and that has been found useful for pedagogical design and research/evaluation.

Using The Filter Bubble to Create a Teachable Moment: A Case Study Utilizing Online Personalization to Engage Student...

Using The Filter Bubble to Create a Teachable Moment: A Case Study Utilizing Online Personalization to Engage Students in Information Literacy Instruction

Introducing digital literacy skills through IBL: A comparative study of UG and PG business information systems studen...

This paper reports a comparative study of Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) at Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate (PG) levels at a university undertaking a professional, legal and ethical module centred on IT. Key observations were unexpected in that the UG level students fully embraced the IBL approach, they maintained a high attendance level throughout the semester, and all preliminary and formative assessment work/tasks were eagerly completed. Ultimately, this developed students’ information literacy skills. PG students enjoyed the in-class IBL activities, but actively avoided module preparation and formative assessment work/tasks, and so minimized their opportunities to develop rich digital literacy skills.

The Sheffield Companion to IBL - The Sheffield Companion to IBL - Resources and Services - IBL at Sheffield - The Uni...

The Sheffield Companion to IBL offers an overview of themes in the conceptualisation, design, practice and development of inquiry-based learning from the perspective of work carried out through CILASS at The University of Sheffield.

Reflections on the Development of the Model of the Information Search Process (ISP)

Excerpts from the Lazerow Lecture, University of Kentucky, April 2, 2007 by Carol Collier Kuhlthau

Bulletin, June/July 2007

The development of the information search process (ISP) as a conceptual framework is the result of more than two decades of research that began with a qualitative study of secondary school students and the emergence of an initial model that was verified and refined through quantitative and longitudinal methods with diverse library users and further developed in case studies of people in the workplace. From these findings a principle of uncertainty for information seeking emerged that states that information commonly increases uncertainty in the early stages of the search process.