Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Enquiry Based Learning: A Valuable Mechanism at Level 9?
Angela Siobhan Wright

Last modified: 29-05-2017


This paper examines ‘Enquiry Based Learning’ (EBL) as an engagement strategy for assessment at ‘taught masters’ level 9.  The master students in question are adult learners in full time employment and the empirical data was gathered from these students.  First, an outline of the key features of EBL is presented and, from there, an investigation of how it is viewed when applied to a specific problem statement by the masters students.  EBL creates a memorable atmosphere in the classroom and encourages deep learning (Ramsden, 1992).  EBL also encourages active learning, which is more enjoyable for the students (Eison, 2010), especially adults – offering more control (Whowell, 2006).  Learning should not be passive or a spectator sport; students learn most effectively by active engagement (Karmas, 2006), with an interesting project, hence, the use of EBL.  It is vital that we move beyond a conceptualisation of education as the simple acquisition of knowledge to one which equally emphasises, nurtures and assesses innovation and expertise in the utilisation and application of knowledge, (Boland, 2010).  The findings of this research are relevant and important as they inform practice and feed into future programme reviews when considering the inclusion of EBL for assessment.

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