• 2016 Syllabus
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Trailer: script for 2016 offering 



Course syllabus is included as a separate static page or a PDF in the "Course Handouts" sectionDone
Prerequisites for the course are clearly statedDone
Time commitment for the course is clearly statedDone
All course deadlines and due dates, including time zone differences, are clearDone
Grading policy including the grade needed to receive a certificate is clearly statedDone
Learning objectives, goals, and outcome(s) are clearly statedDone
Academic Policy for the course is clearly stated?????? 
Guidelines provided for discussion forum etiquetteDone
Expectations for frequency of learner forum participation in the course is clearDone
Roles and expected level of involvement for Instructors/TAs is clear to studentsDone
Schedule for releasing course content, and the expected frequency of course updates is clearDone
Any unexpected changes to released content will be communicated clearly to students Done


Course Title:

Teaching With Technology and Inquiry: An Open Course For Teachers

Course Number 


Brief Description

Instructors from the worlds of research and practice engage you in design-oriented collaborative activities focused on K-12 STEAM+ learning.


Learning Outcomes


  • Connecting theory to practice
    • Theoretical understanding of student learning
    • Theoretical understanding of teacher practice
    • The role of inquiry activities and technology in enabling those processes
  • Integrating inquiry into instruction
    • How much, when, and for what?
    • Assessment: the role of technology in revealing student ideas 
    • Design: teacher as curriculum designer and action researcher
    • Enactment: things that can go right and wrong during the inquiry lesson
  • Specific forms of inquiry learning
    • Collaboration
    • Integrating Web-based resources
    • Mobile devices
    • Collective inquiry and student-contributed content
  • Support for teachers in a school community
    • What we need from our school
    • What we can get from our peers
    • A possible role for virtual community

Full Description

INQ101x is designed with K-12 teachers in mind. Teacher candidates, higher education instructors, and other educators may also find it relevant. In six weeks, we discuss some of the major themes and challenges of integrating inquiry and technology as a community of practitioners. 

In Week 0 we get to know each other before you start INQ101x.  You can find educators with similar subject-matter or grade-level interests and continue to share your ideas with each other throughout your time in the course. You can also browse  an annotated collection of technology tools and a series of lesson designs created by learners in the previous offering of the course.

  • Week 1: Inquiry and student-centred pedagogy 
    • We review dominant inquiry frameworks and examine general themes in technology integration in teaching and learning. We follow the process of a technology-integrated inquiry-based science lesson design. 
  • Week 2: Designing Activities and Assessments
    • We examine opportunities and challenges in designing technology integration in teaching and learning. A physics teacher reflects on assessment design in relation to the learning outcomes of a technology-integrated inquiry lesson.   
  • Week 3: Collaborative learning
    • Research and practice show barriers to engaging students in collaborative learning activities. We review challenges of designing for collaboration and examine design approaches to promote student engagement. A visual arts teacher explains his online collaborative critique lesson design
  • Week 4: Handheld/mobile devices 
    • We review various forms of handheld devices and examine where in lesson design and implementation can these devices be integrated.  A biology teacher reflects on the design and implementation of a lesson that uses a mobile app.
  • Week 5: Knowledge co-constriction
    • We examine design factors in promoting student-contributed knowledge. A math teacher and researcher share their collaborative experience in designing a statistics lesson that emphasizes knowledge co-construction. 
  • Week 6: Inquiry Enactment
    • We discuss challenges of classroom management and student engagement in technology enhanced/integrated learning and examine strategies to overcome such challenges. Teachers who shared their lesson design reflect on challenges they faced and decisions they made accordingly. 

Overview of course content and activities 

WEEKContentNon-graded ActivitiesSelf-assessed Inquiry Activity
Week 1: Inquiry and student-centred pedagogy Three videos: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactmentPrompted discussionTwo reflections
Week 2: Designing Activities and AssessmentsFour video lectures: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactment, elementary educationPrompted discussionTwo reflections; resource submission
Week 3: Collaborative learningFour videos: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactment (two examples)Prompted discussionTwo reflections; lesson critique
Week 4: Handheld/mobile devices Three videos: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactmentPrompted discussionTwo reflections; start final course project
Week 5: Knowledge co-constrictionThree videos: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactmentPrompted discussionTwo reflections; final course project continues
Week 6: Inquiry EnactmentThree videos: Conceptual, administrative, classroom enactmentPrompted discussionTwo reflections; final course project

Upon enrolling in the course, you will have access to all course content and activities between November 1 2016 and January 1 2018. Each week includes a list of supplementary resources such as videos, papers, or demos. These resources are not required to complete the self-assessed inquiry activities. Any unexpected changes to course material or activities will be clearly communicated with learners through course announcements and updates.

Course Dates

  • Start date: November 1 2016
  • End date: January 1 2018

Course Length

  •  6 weeks

Estimated Effort

  •  3-5 hours per week

Grading and Dealines

All graded components are self-assessed. You can submit your work for each assignment as many times as you want.

WeekReflection 1Reflection 2Resource annotationLesson critiqueCourse projectSubmission Deadline
15%5%---Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST
25%5%5%--Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST
35%5%-5%-Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST
45%5%---Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST
55%5%---Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST
65%5%--30%Jan 1 2018, 11:59pm EST




 Some knowledge of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) topics and learning technologies, as well as some prior teaching experience, are recommended but not required.

(more details: Some knowledge of STEAM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) topics is recommended, as well as some prior teaching experience. Knowledge of learning technologies would be an asset but not required, as you will develop this knowledge or further enhance your existing knowledge during this course.)


    • Content: English
    • Videos: English
    • Transcript: English, Portuguese

Course Level

  • Intermediate

Certificate types and price

  • To receive a verified certificate, you'll need to achieve a total Grade of at least 70% in course assignments.  It is possible to upgrade to to obtain a verified certificate until October 1, 2017.
  • 50$ (US)

Course Assistance


New to edX?


If you are new to edX, please view DemoX before proceeding with INQ101x.


Help with Course Content


  • To get help with the course, click the Discussion tab and post a question.
  • The instructional team would not be able to answer individual questions due the self-paced nature of the course. We encourage you to seek help from your peers and assist peers who need help.


edX Help


For general question about using the edX platform, please refer to these edX documents.



For remaining issues, please contact  the edX support center, https://www.edx.org/contact


Guidelines for Discussion Forum Participation 


The discussion board is the online space where you are invited to express thoughts, develop ideas, and engage with classmates and instructors. Each week has one or two topics (or forums) to help you apply the material of that week. Here are some friendly guidelines to help you successfully navigate and interact on the forum. Participation in discussion forums in this course is voluntary but highly encouraged.




On the discussion board - click the down arrow for All Discussions to see the current list of topics.


Course Help: the place for posting problems of any type with the course. Staff and other students will help you.




When posting you can mark your message as a question or contributing to the discussion. Also confirm that you are adding it to the correct forum. Be sure to check that you wish to follow the post so that you'll be notified when someone responds.




  1. Review discussion postings before posting your own to avoid redundancy.
  2. Do not post solutions to quizzes.
  3. Give your message a meaningful title that conveys the essence of your message. Be descriptive, specific, and succinct. This will make it easier for readers to notice your post.
  4. Use “netiquette,” or common writing practices for online communication. For example:


  • Avoid TYPING IN ALL CAPS.  It's difficult to read and some people read this as shouting.
  • Be careful with humour and sarcasm, both can easily be misunderstood.
  • Try to check your writing for errors before posting.
  • Avoid excessive use of acronyms (LOL), emoticons (smilies) and repeating punctuation (!!!!)
  • It is good to offer sincere and constructive suggestions, but please avoid negative commentary.




  1. UPvote: when you read a posting that seems particularly good , you can click on the + sign to "vote it up". Do this for postings that you judge to be pertinent to the question, clearly written, and extend the discussion.
  2. Follow: if you would like to read future messages from this person, click on the star.
  3. Report misuse: If the message is offensive, flag it by clicking on ‘report misuse’.
  4. Add a response: to reply






EDX offers some quick ways to find postings.


  1. Click on the search icon to open the search box to search all discussions.
  2. Use the Sort button to organize list of messages by date, but votes received, and by responses (comments).




Course Staff


  • Jim D. Slotta (1st to be listed)
    • Bio: Jim Slotta is the associate dean for research at the Lynch School of Education (LSOE), Boston College, and an associate professor of Education at The University of Toronto. Before coming to Toronto, From 1997 - 2005, he was at the University of California, Berkeley where he led the design and development of the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (http://wise.berkeley.edu). Since 2005, he has directed the ENCORE lab (http://encorelab.org) - a team of students, designers and developers who investigate new models of collaborative and collective inquiry in K-12 science.  His research investigates new forms of inquiry for K-12 science classrooms, where students engage with simulations and visualizations, collaborate with peers, and work as a knowledge community to investigate phenomena, contribute their own ideas, develop designs, and create scientific arguments. His research is conducted in close collaboration with teachers, ensuring their role as a learning partner and transforming their classrooms into creative and active learning environments.  Professor Slotta maintains collaborations in Europe, North America and Asia, and has published and presented widely on the international stage. 
  • Rosemary Evans (2nd to be listed)
    • Bio: Rosemary Evans is the principal of University of Toronto Schools, a secondary school for high achieving students affiliated with the University of Toronto. She received her BA in history from the University of Western Ontario and her MA, BEd, and MBA from the University of Toronto. She served as a teacher, department head, and subject coordinator for the Peel Board of Education, and later as a vice-principal in the former East York Board of Education. During her time as an instructor in the Initial Teacher Education Program at OISE, Rosemary was the recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award. She later accepted the role of Academic Head at Branksome Hall, where she oversaw the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Programs from junior kindergarten to grade twelve. Rosemary is the author of a number of history textbooks, and has given presentations locally and internationally on topics such as assessment and evaluation, critical thinking and inquiry based learning, and global education.
    • Picture: 

Certificate Signatories  

  • Jim Slotta
  • Associate dean for research, Lynch School of Education (LSOE), Boston College
  • Associate professor, Department of  Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • Signature
  • Rosemary Evans
  • Principal
  • University of Toronto Schools
  • Signature 

Social Networking Information

  • Course hashtag
    • #INQ101x 
  • Course twitter handle
    • @INQ101x  
  • Professor Twitter Handle
    • @JimSlotta (want to keep this?)
  • University or Institution Twitter Handle
    • @UofT
    • @OISENews
    • boston college?
    • UTS?
  • Additional Professor Twitter Handle
    • @Rosemary_Evans
  • Other Twitter Handle
  •  url for your course or university Facebook page.
  • Are you interested in scheduling Meetup Events for your course?
    • No (Please change to yes if we want metopes for INQ101x)


Subject Field

  • Education
  • Social Sciences

Course Banner Image

Course Thumbnail Image



About Video



Trailer script modifications for 2016


Trailer Script

2 min:challenge and opportunity of teaching with technology and inquiry

Jim: Hi, My name is Jim Slotta, from the University of Toronto, and this is where I teach. (Change???)

  • … and sometimes here.

  • … and sometimes here.

  • If you’re watching this, you are probably a teacher, and no matter where you teach, what topics, or what age group of students, you’ve surely recognized the potential that technology and digital media offer, for supporting new forms of learning and instruction.

  • Technology can help connect students with their peers, and provide new ways for them to interact with ideas, data, computation and creativity.

    • But these are not easy kinds of methods to adopt, and it takes time and careful thought to design curriculum and assessment.  

    • Teachers also need support if they are going to rely on technology, and there are many new issues and concerns that come with the territory.  

  • For more than 20 years, I’ve been teaching pre-service teachers how to design inquiry lessons that integrate technology. As an academic researcher in this area, I’ve learned a lot about how technology can support students and teachers, what kinds of activities engage students and help them to learn.

Rosemary: “Hi, My name is Rosemary Evans, and I’m the school principal of University of Toronto Schools, or UTS, a school with 650 students from grades 7 to 12. The school is affiliated with the University, and has a 105-year tradition as a model school involved in research and teacher training.  

  • Together, Jim and I have been working to add technology and inquiry throughout the school.  Our shared experiences have inspired us to co-develop a MOOC for in-service teachers, giving equal attention to educational research and practice.  

  • This is a MOOC for teachers who want to take advantage of exciting new technologies, reflect on real classroom examples, and even get involved in design teams.

Jim: We decided to stick with the topics and student age groups where we have the most experience, including middle and high school science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Together, these topics make up the acronym “STEAM”, emphasizing the connections among the topic areas.

Science is a natural fit for inquiry designs where students work with ideas, build on their existing experiences, and collaborate.  

Technology entails a set of media and practices that are essential to 21st century learning.

Engineering is increasingly prominent in K-12 education, with a focus on collaborative problem solving and design.  

Arts have grown to include new media and creative design that complement all traditional forms.

Mathematics enables students to express their own ideas and collaborate with peers to solve problems.

and we add a “plus” to refer to any other teachers out there who feel that they can connect to these ideas and approaches.

Jim: We envision this MOOC as a learning community where a large number of teachers will be organized into focus groups, sharing and voting on resources, and building a collection of design ideas. (delete?)

Rosemary: We’ve organized the course into 6 major themes that reflect important aspects of teaching with inquiry and technology.  For each theme, Jim will first present the relevant research and theory, then I will discuss the application in schools, with a focus on the role of the teacher, best practices and aspects of support.  

Jim: Next, we will showcase one example from a UTS classroom that offers insight and serves as a basis for reflection and discussion.   

Rosemary: Then, we will engage you in an inquiry task where you make contributions within a focus group, and add your own votes and comments to help build collective knowledge. (I suggest we delete this)

Jim: For those teachers who want to go deeper, at the end of each week we will support a design strand, where you work with peers in your focus group to design an inquiry and technology lesson.

Rosemary: This is a unique kind of MOOC for a unique community of K-12 teachers.

Jim and Rosemary in unison: We hope you will join us! :)    








Implementation and Design Considerations

    • professional circles (email to be sent)
      • School boards
      • Boston College
      • UofT community
      • OISE community
      • Course community
      • Canadian Schools of Education  (CSSE)
      • Encore ppl professional circles






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