Small Tweaks to Research Assignments = Big Reward!

by | Nov 4, 2023

TRANSFORM Research Assignments into Engaged Inquiry Learning

Student led research is a great way to engage students in their own learning. It puts them in the front seat of an active process. With research, students learn from multiple sources of information, not just one textbook.

Assigning research, however, causes students’ anxiety and does not help them to find an interesting topic to pursue. This can easily lead to frustration, procrastination, and plagiarism.

 Guided Inquiry Design can help you to flip those research assignments to engaging inquiry learning.  Here are a few things we’ve learned. The 8 small tweaks below can offer you with new ways of approaching the research assignment in your class.

  8 Small Tweaks that will make a huge difference  


 8 Small Tweaks

    1. Open with curiosity not an assignment – get them thinking widely
    2. Take time to build some background on key ideas not learn everything
    3. Let students think about their interests and connections to the world
    4. Use experiences, like field trips, in the BEGINNING of the unit not the end
    5. Provide time and resources to Explore ideas before settling on a topic
    6. Talk with students and listen to their interests and ideas for research to help them focus
    7. Keep an open mind – allow them to change their topic as new ideas & info comes in
    8. Consider choice – a variety of products can be created to show what they learned

Many Small Tweaks in your research assignments can make a big difference in student learning. Give these a try and come learn more in the GID Academy!

Leslie Maniotes, PhD Author/Professional Developer for GID

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