Student research is a vital part of inquiry-based learning. Larissa Pahomov, author of the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, identifies the following three qualities that must be present in student research if genuine inquiry and learning are to occur (pp. 42-46):
- Autonomy – Students need to have some choice in what they research, how they research, and how they share the results of their research.
- Activity – Students need to have a variety of activity levels throughout their research. They need opportunities to engage information, whether through text, image, or some performance medium.
- Metacognition – Students need the opportunity to look within themselves and reflect upon their own learning and growth throughout the inquiry process.
As you are planning for instruction, include opportunities for autonomy, activity, and metacognition. Students will engage content in meaningful ways and learn much. You will engage content in meaningful ways and learn much, too!