We can identify five types of inquiry-based activities (Ton Ellermeijer, SMEC-Establish Conference, Dublin, June 7 – 9, 2012).
- Interactive demonstration: The inquiry part here lies in the responses and explanations from the students.
- Guided discovery: same as in the above, but in this case the students carry out the experiment introduced to them by the teacher.
- Guided inquiry: in this case, students work in teams on their own experiment. The teacher has identified the problem and has given a clear-cut objective.
- Bounded inquiry: same as in the above, but in this case students are expected to design and conduct the experiment themselves with little or no guidance of the teacher and only partial pre-lab orientation. The research problem to be solved is given to them by the teacher.
- Open inquiry: within a given context, students are expected to propose and pursue their own research question(s) and experimental design. This will usually be a semifinal assignment of senior students.
Throughout the course we will apply all five types/levels of activities, however focus will be on the last three types of activities.