of inquiry that represents the need of a variety of subject
areas was developed by the Exploratorium
Institute for Inquiry (1996): “Inquiry is an approach to
learning that involves a process of exploring the natural or
material world, that leads to asking questions and making discoveries
in the search for new understandings.”
levels of student inquiry exist, ranging from low-level
confirmation/verification exercises to high-level open inquiry.
High levels of inquiry are sometimes achieved in classrooms
when students are aware of and apply a spiral
path of inquiry.
is a Web Inquiry Project (WIP)?
A WIP is a lesson
plan format promoting student inquiry. Central to a WIP is the
use of uninterpreted data/information that can be found online
-- that is, students attempt to answer inquiry-oriented questions
by seeking and manipulating online resources. WIPs are designed
to be viewed and used by teachers, however the Hook
is often viewed by students as well. Keep in mind though, the
more information given to students, the less inquiry-oriented
the activity will be.
To learn more about
the mechanics of WIPs, please go to the Overview
do I use Web Inquiry Projects (WIPs)?
A teacher can use
a WIP if they want to promote guided
or open inquiry. They serve as roadmaps for teachers who
wish to lead students through an authentic inquiry experience.
WIPs help teachers in many ways. WIPs
- get students
interested in a topic,
- provide examples
of good inquiry-oriented questions,
- describe sound
methods for answering these questions,
- and they describe
ways students can convincingly present their findings.
A WIP does not run
itself -- that is, a teacher cannot take her class to a computer
lab and expect her students to follow the steps of a WIP and
walk out of the lab an hour later having completed an inquiry-oriented
activity. A WIP is used almost solely by the teacher to scaffold
students inquiries. The Hook
is the only component given directly to the students.
do I use WebQuests?
Well written WebQuests
inquiry. In providing up front the web resources needed
to complete a predefined task using predefined procedures, students'
time is used wisely.
WebQuests are used
directly by students. Well-written WebQuests lead students through
a scaffolded inquiry experience. Often students can complete
a WebQuest with very little assistance from a teacher, because
the Task, Resources, and Procedure are given.
do I add my Web Inquiry Project to your database?
Go to the Templates
page and follow the instructions there.