Make an Inquiry

This summer, CLMOOC is expanding to include an activity that we are calling Make an Inquiry.

Photo by Marlene Caldera

Photo by Marlene Caldera used with permission.

My name is Michael Weller; I’m a fellow with the Los Angeles Writing Project and a member of the CLMOOC support team.

Over the past two years, I’ve done a series of informal inquiries in my classroom (at a high school in an eastern suburb of Los Angeles) that were inspired by my participation in CLMOOC 2013 & CLMOOC 2014.  This year, I realized that I wanted to make my inquiry process a bit more systematic and formal.  While I was creating knowledge that could inform my practice, I felt that my ability to share this knowledge was limited; I thought that a more formal, traditional inquiry process would make it easier for me to share my findings.

When Christina Cantrill convened a group of us to talk about the CLMOOC 2015 support team, I suggested that I’d like to do something involving inquiry, and from this conversation we decided to create this Make An Inquiry strand for CLMOOC 2015.  As with all activities in CLMOOC, this make is open-ended and open-access; anyone can join in to participate (or stop participating) at any time.

This strand might spin off into multiple inquiry collaborations…in fact, we hope it does!  I’m not an expert in research or inquiry by any means, just an enthusiastic colleague.  If I am successful this summer, I will be a co-learner with you, and maybe a professional encourager.  🙂

There doesn’t need to be a single inquiry question or topic, either.  As I mentioned above, I’d like to work on clarifying how I will inquire more formally in my classroom in Fall 2015.  Your interests might be similar, and we might choose to pursue the same question, or inquire together with questions that are similar.  On the other hand, you might want to spin off into your own inquiry collaboration, which is great too.  The needs of the community (or communities) will determine the path(s) we take.

Lately, I’ve been preoccupied with this question:  How can we create spaces for learning where students are empowered to direct their own learning?

What are your questions?  Inquire with Us!

As I mentioned above, I want to formalize my inquiry process.  As a result, part of my goal for the summer is to formulate questions, read what others have to say about those questions, write about the questions, and – I hope – create a research plan for the fall semester.

The process I have in mind is, essentially:

  • formulate a question
  • review the literature
  • determine an intervention/treatment
  • write a research plan
  • conduct a pre-assessment
  • implement the intervention/treatment
  • conduct a post-assessment
  • analyze data
  • publish the findings

I’m going to focus on the first four bullet points this summer.

You can do the same, or similar, or you can go in whatever direction your questions and context take you.  My hope is that we can support each other in our efforts to use an inquiry approach to improve our practice.

To share what you’re doing and collaborate with others, you might:

    • write on your blog or at Digital Is (and consider adding your blog to the Blog Hub at the Make Bank!)
    • comment on other folks’ blogs (mine is michaelsweller.wordpress.com)
    • tweet with the #clmooc hashtag
    • post in the Making Learning Connected Community on Google Plus with the hashtag #makeaninquiry
    • add to our Hackpad or create your own
    • add to our Google Doc or create your own
    • Join our Slack group by emailing me (michaelsweller@gmail.com) to request an invite
    • create in any number of genres or formats that I haven’t thought of yet  🙂

Need More Information?

Finally …

Let’s inquire!  As I mentioned above, participating in any way adds value to the community, so please join us in whatever ways you find will work for you!