Helping Students to Become Disciplinary Researchers Using Questioning, Social Bookmarking and Inquiry-Based Learning


This article investigates the role of questioning in inquiry-based learning (IBL). The intention was to improve students’ questioning skills, to develop their conception of the importance of questioning in their learning, and to impact positively on their information literacy. The context was a first year-seminar course in the History Department at the University of Sheffield (UK). Students were asked to ‘bookmark’ sites (including scholarly articles and primary sources) that they had found on the web during their weekly readings and to pose questions arising from their reading to a discussion forum. Data on students’ conceptions of questioning were gathered via pre- and post-module questionnaires and standard module evaluations. This information was coupled with evidence gathered from a reflective diary that the tutor completed on a weekly basis. Students perceived that they had developed a range of transferrable and discipline-specific skills through this approach. There was a perceptible shift in many students’ conceptions of the role and importance of questioning in their learning.
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