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Assessment of Inquiry-Based Learning


The Ethnography and Evaluation Research group at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was commissioned to study inquiry-based learning at the four university IBL centers. These are the centers started in 2004 and supported by EAF (see Centers).

There have been many assessments of the effectiveness of IBL at various educational levels and subjects. This is the first large-scale study devoted to mathematics at the undergraduate level. Data was gathered from more than 100 course sections over two academic years at the four campuses. The project involved analyzing results of classroom observation, surveys, student transcripts, student and teacher interviews, and tests.

Many of the results stemming from the study's final report have been published and cited in educational research literature. One of the outcomes of particular interest has been the finding that

Overall, IBL experiences appear to be powerful for women, leveling the playing field by eliminating discouraging experiences that impede learning in traditionally taught courses. (Evaluation of the IBL Mathematics Project: Student and Instructor Outcomes of Inquiry-Based Learning in College Mathematics, Executive Summary, p. vii)

The full report and related documents are available at the Colorado site.