Inquiry Learning and Opportunities for Technology

Authored by: Marcia C. Linn , Kevin W. McElhaney , Libby Gerard , Camillia Matuk

International Handbook of the Learning Sciences

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138670594
eBook ISBN: 9781315617572
Adobe ISBN:


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Whether in history, science, journalism, economics, or other disciplines, inquiry activities engage learners in exploring meaningful problems, testing conjectures about relationships among variables, comparing alternative explanations (often by building and testing models), using evidence to refine ideas, and developing arguments for promising solutions (Furtak, Seidel, Iverson, & Briggs, 2012). Inquiry instruction can exploit the multiple, often conflicting ideas that students have about personal, societal, and environmental dilemmas, and help them to sort out these ideas to address challenges such as economic disparity or health decision making (Donnelly, Linn, & Ludvigsen, 2014; Herrenkohl & Polman, this volume). Technologies such as natural language processing, interactive simulations, games, collaborative tools, and personalized guidance can support students to become autonomous learners (Quintana et al., 2004; Tabak & Kyza, this volume). Logs of student activities can capture class performance and inform teachers of student progress (Gerard, Matuk, McElhaney, & Linn, 2015).

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