Open Access Graduate Research Paper
The purpose of this study was to explore the role of technological devices such as computers, cell phones, or tablets in inquiry-based learning. Twice a week over a three-week time period, the researcher observed a population of 24 seventh graders in a classroom from a large Midwestern school district and watched to see when they used their technological devices for inquiry learning. The researcher noted whether device usage was teacher directed or if the students chose to use the devices while searching for information. In addition, the researcher used semi-structured interviews with three students and their teacher to understand more clearly the teacher's expectations for student use of their devices during inquiry and how the students utilize those devices while looking up information. The research questions asked 1) what prompted students to look up information on their devices, 2) to what extent students evaluated information that they found, and 3) to what extent access to technological devices changed learning and teaching. Results showed that the teacher mainly directed students to look for specific information on their technological devices. Students evaluated information by looking through several sources to see if they found important information or information they could understand. Greater access to technological devices such as computers is changing learning and teaching in that the students in this study were actively engaged with information through collecting online information, creating videos and participating in virtual labs. Several areas of student difficulty were also noted. Students used images without noting whether they were free of copyright restrictions and without citing them and students were not engaged in inquiry learning through driving the questioning; rather they were guided to collect specific information for assignments.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Division of School Library Studies
1 PDF file (32 pages)
©2014 Melissa Mulder
Mulder, Melissa, "Technology's Role in Inquiry-Based Learning" (2014). Graduate Research Papers. 3925.