Reflection on IBL

These last couple of weeks I have come to understand more clearly what investigable questions should look like and how to help students formulate them to begin an inquiry, but I am still struggling with how to use inquiry based learning effectively in my German classes. We do research projects and presentations in my classes, but i am still not quite sure how to write effective investigable questions and to facilitate my students working through them to find answers that are concrete, but not cookie-cutter.

I am working in my classes to give more open-ended questions and more choices so my students can have more say in what and how they research. I know this will improve student motivation and engagement, and what I really want is to have my students be creative both in how and what they research as well as how they choose to present their project to the class, either live or digitally.

The discussions in our class forums have been helpful as I read my classmates’ thoughts on how they implement IBL or the process as they, too, grapple with understanding it enough to apply it to what they teach. I welcome any input you may have about how to implement inquiry based learning in a subject like German (or other non-science courses you may teach).


Reflection on weeks 2 / 3

In the past two weeks I have seen examples of how inquiry based learning can be teacher directed, teacher guided, student directed, or anywhere along that spectrum. The readings and case studies this week have helped to clarify in my mind what IBL really looks like in a lesson.

The case studies were confusing, though, and as I read the discussion posts of my classmates, I realized many of us understand IBL differently. I am curious to know the ‘real’ answers to that assignment, especially for the third example in the case study.

I definitely have a better understanding of IBL than I did in the first week of this course. Initially, I thought that IBL was great for science classes but wasn’t sure how I could use it in German classes. Now I see that inquiry doesn’t necessarily have to be hands-on like in a science lab, but it’s more about the process of having students formulate questions and then explore finding answers to them, and I can certainly do that in my German classes!

I really like these reflection assignments, so that I am documenting my own learning process and I will be able to look back at my thoughts as I work to implement IBL in my classes this coming school year.