Earn your UTeach Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning designation. All courses are online, asynchronous, and led by UTeach Professional Development facilitators.
You’ll review inquiry-based instructional strategies and learn content-specific practices that recognize the diverse perspectives students bring to the learning experience.
- Inquiry-Based Learning Series: After you take IL 101, pick a combination of courses that equals 26 hours or more.
- Single Courses: If you don't want to complete the whole Inquiry-Based Series, choose any individual course to take.
UTeach alumni are exempt from taking the Foundations course. UTeach alumni and UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA) members are also eligible for reduced registration fees. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
IL 101 Foundations of Inquiry Teaching and Learning (4 hours)
This course shares the inquiry-based learning philosophy that is the hallmark of UTeach’s model for preparing pre-service teachers and a key element of the UTeach professional development model for practicing teachers. The course is designed for educators who may not be familiar with or who need a refresher on inquiry-based learning and the 5E Instructional Model. You will identify levels of inquiry-based learning, describe each E in the 5E learning cycle, critique 5E lesson plans, and create an action plan for implementing inquiry-based learning strategies.
- Draw on prior knowledge of inquiry-based teaching and learning strategies to construct new understanding by exploring and studying current research on the relevance of inquiry-based instruction.
- Develop or deepen understanding of the 5E Lesson Cycle to enhance inquiry-based instruction.
- Collaborate with peers to gain insight into inquiry-based teaching practices.
IL 102 Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners (8 hours)
This course introduces you to the key concepts of differentiating content, process, and product based on student readiness, interest, and learning profile. You’ll learn strategies for implementing each of these differentiated instruction concepts and focus in particular on the importance of using assessment to guide individual instruction. The culminating activity will involve reflecting on the differentiated instructional strategies you plan to implement in your classroom.
- Learn strategies for differentiating content, learning processes, and learning products.
- Construct tools for determining student readiness, interest levels, and learning profiles to gather knowledge of each individual student.
- Discuss how to manage a differentiated classroom, with a strong focus on the importance of using assessment to guide individual instruction.
- Reflect on the differentiated instructional strategies planned for and implemented into your own classroom.
Everything I have done in the Diverse Learners course is a takeaway. One of my big takeaways is to acknowledge that you cannot assume that students know exactly what you want, so communicating effectively and with conscientious effort is going to head off a lot of problems. It's been a great course. — Learning specialist for grades 9–12
IL 103 Tools for Managing Classrooms in the Digital Age (8 hours)
This course will help you learn to transform your classroom full of collaborators, creative thinkers, and information consumers into producers, technologists, problem solvers, and self-directed learners. You will research management strategies to maximize the development of these skills and minimize disruptions to teaching and learning.
- Research attributes of classrooms in the digital age and discover innovative classroom management tools.
- Design a classroom management plan applicable to your unique teaching settings.
- Interact in discussions with other teachers to share thoughts and strategies for enhancing today’s classrooms.
- Create a technology-based lesson plan to implement in your own classroom.
IL 105 Engaging Students with Mobile Technology (8 hours)
This course encourages you to be a thoughtful planner when incorporating technology into your classroom. You will examine educational practices using mobile devices and critique sample learning activities incorporating mobile technology. You will develop an inquiry-based learning activity that uses mobile technology to engage students in authentic learning experiences and construct a plan for determining the effectiveness of your technology-integration efforts.
- Review current literature to examine educational practices using mobile devices in the classroom.
- Critique sample learning activities that integrate mobile devices.
- Develop an inquiry-based lesson plan that integrates mobile technology.
- Construct a plan for determining the effectiveness of integrating mobile technology into your classroom.
IL 106 Formative Assessment: A Key to Student Success (8 hours)
In this course, you will explore strategies for improving classroom teaching by gathering data on student understanding. You’ll review current literature on formative assessment and explore effective questioning strategies. You will also discover technology-enhanced assessment tools and develop a plan for effectively using formative assessment data to enhance student success in your own classroom.
- Review current literature about formative assessment.
- Explore effective questioning strategies.
- Review strategies for instant assessment of students with and without technology.
- Create materials for formative assessments to use in the classroom.
- Learn how to determine appropriate teaching strategies based on the data from formative assessments.
IL 107 Mentoring Math and Science Teachers (8 hours)
This course is designed for educators who mentor their colleagues. You’ll discuss what makes mentoring successful and review ways to provide effective, productive feedback for mentees. You will use what you’ve learned to design a mentoring program that meets the needs of new teachers and follows the guidelines established by your school or district.
- Explore the process of mentoring with an emphasis on math and science instruction.
- Review ways technology can provide feedback mechanisms for mentees and mentors.
- Design a mentoring plan for your campus or department.
- Create materials to use for training mentor teachers.
IL 108 Teaching Algebra Through Inquiry (8 hours)
In this course, you’ll fully develop a working definition of inquiry-based learning for your classroom. This course will help you determine the level of guidance students need to participate in inquiry-based algebra activities, as well as the nature of activities that will increase student learning. You’ll review sample inquiry-based algebra lessons and share observations regarding the vital features of these learning activities. You will also create, review, and revise inquiry-based algebra lessons to use in your classroom.
- Review research associated with inquiry-based learning.
- Review sample inquiry-based algebra lessons and share observations.
- Develop a definition of inquiry-based learning for your own mathematics classroom.
- Create, review, and revise inquiry-based algebra lessons.
IL 109 Learning Through Inquiry in a Flipped Classroom (20 hours)
Learn about a flipped classroom model that combines key elements of inquiry-based learning and sound student engagement strategies to enhance the learning experience both in and out of the classroom. You will research current flipped strategies, produce an inquiry-based flipped 5E lesson plan that includes an instructional video, and create a plan for determining and demonstrating the effectiveness of your efforts.
- Develop unique flipped learning strategies using inquiry-based learning strategies.
- Utilize the 5E lesson cycle model to create inquiry-based flipped lesson plans.
- Practice creating interactive instructional videos, being mindful of incorporating inquiry- based questioning strategies throughout.
- Create assessments for flipped classroom learning objectives that provide timely and thoughtful feedback to students.
- Participate in collaborative discussions with colleagues, including plans for measuring the effectiveness of your flipped classroom practices.
- Create a plan for communicating your intentions and expectations for flipping your classroom to administrators, colleagues, parents, and students.
IL 110 Makerspace in the Classroom (12 hours)
This course is designed for teachers interested in learning more about Makerspaces and implementing Maker ideas and practices into their own classrooms. You will research and articulate findings relevant to the Maker movement. You’ll also connect to larger Maker communities, collaborate on and design Maker activities and projects for students, learn how to advocate for schoolwide Makerspace connections, and develop an action plan for implementing Makerspaces in your school.
- Research and articulate findings relevant to the Maker Movement.
- Connect to larger Maker communities.
- Collaborate and design Maker activities and projects for students.
- Advocate for schoolwide Makerspace connections.
- Develop a Makerspace Action Plan.
- Participate in collaborative discussions with colleagues regarding the elements of creating and maintaining a Makerspace.
IL 111 Supporting English Language Learners (20 hours)
You’ll receive an introduction to working with English language learners (ELLs) in your classroom. The course will lead you through a series of learning activities that provide resources and classroom strategies for welcoming ELLs and their families. Topics include creating productive learning environments, understanding language-acquisition concepts, providing comprehensible input, using language in classrooms, and supporting students as they assess their own progress.
- Participate in an ELL experience and come to know more about ELLs and their families.
- Explore fundamental language concepts and the process of language acquisition as a way to analyze your own use of language in the classroom and support students’ language development in English.
- Develop a working knowledge of the factors that affect ELLs’ learning of academic content, language, and culture.
- Survey teaching methods that support ELLs students and use this knowledge to plan effective, developmentally appropriate instruction that provides opportunities for formative assessment of content and language goals and consider ways to use findings to make instructional decisions.
- Use an ELL lesson plan supplement and adapt an existing lesson to better meet the needs of ELLs.
- Establish a support network with other educators interested in supporting ELLs.
- Engage in resource sharing and collaborative problem solving.
IL 104 Transforming Classrooms for the Digital Age (20 hours)
This course provides a venue for comparing and contrasting traditional and digitally enhanced learning activities while discovering different technologies for use in the classroom. You will create your own technology-enhanced learning activities with an emphasis on collaboration and assessment and discuss unique management issues present in a digital-age classroom.
- Compare and contrast a lesson taught with technology and without.
- Create documents to be used for student collaboration and assessment (formative and summative).
- Digitally enhance a lesson from your own curriculum.
- Identify safe, responsible best practices for student and teacher use of technology in educational settings.
- Create a digital basecamp.