The University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota (USA) is engaged in a six-year effort to raise undergraduates’ thinking skills through Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) and faculty/student collaboration. IBL is seen as any pedagogy that poses a problem or investigation first, and subsumes other instruction under the pursuit of the quest. IBL is most frequently practiced within the framework of a college course. Faculty/student collaboration is typically outside of a course, and involves undergraduate students doing research and scholarship while working closely with a professor. The paper describes several IBL courses and their assessment results. Arguments are given about why IBL raises students’ thinking skills, and the cases describe how the pedagogy is applied. The cases are drawn from biology, philosophy, computer science, and theology. Faculty/student collaboration in research and scholarship is supported by two grant programs that fund both students and faculty for work during the semester or over the summer. Responses from students indicate that such collaborations are excellent education. A bi-annual student poster session where that collaborative work is presented has been highly successful.
|Keywords:||Inquiry-Based Learning, Faculty/Student Collaboration, Undergraduate Education|
Professor, Geography, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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