What is Enquiry-Based Learning?
Using the Enquiry-Based Learning model, individuals are able to learn by
investigating scenarios and problems, using their collective experience to enhance their knowledge. Individuals are supported to conduct investigations to satisfy their curiosity, help them broaden their knowledge base, develop their skills and mind-set.
Enquiry-Based learning is not a technique but a process that has the potential to
increase intellectual engagement and deep understanding, promoting:
• Development of questioning, research and communication skills
• Collaboration outside the workshop
• Problem solving and tackling of real-life issues and dilemmas
• Participation in the creation of organisation-wide innovation and knowledge
Workshop of up to 2.5 hours – Optimum number of participants = 8
The 5 steps of enquiry-based learning:
1. Ask questions
2. Probe situations
3. Conduct analysis and implement findings
4. Communicate findings, verbally or in writing
5. Process and disseminate the information and knowledge obtained
The principles of enquiry-based learning
Learners are at the centre of the process, whilst the facilitator supports them
to express, analyse, implement and learn
All learning activities strengthen information-processing and objective
The facilitator guides the learning process and ensures that individuals
formulate achievable actions to which they are held accountable by their
Emphasis is placed on evaluating the development of information-processing
skills, conceptual understanding and action learning rather than on the
content of the work-based experience
The 4 forms of enquiry
There are four types of enquiry that we can use, but for the sets it is likely that we will
focus on 3 or 4 (see below).
1. Confirmation enquiry
Individuals are given a question, as well as a method, to which the end result is
already known. The goal is to confirm the results. This reinforces already established
ideas and encourages investigative skills.
2. Structured enquiry
Individuals are given a question and the method of achieving the result, but the goal
is to provide an explanation that is supported by the evidence gathered during the
3. Guided enquiry
Individuals are only given a question. They have to design the method of
investigation and then test the question itself. This encourages deeper
4. Open enquiry
Individuals form their own questions, design investigative methods, and then carry
out the enquiry itself. They must present their results at the end of the process.
Within a workshop setting, the facilitator encourages individuals to fully explore
problems and scenarios, so that they can learn from not only the results, but also the
The facilitator supports questioning, exploration and evidence gathering methods
enabling individuals to test hypotheses, innovate operations and evaluate outcomes.