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Open UToronto

OPEN COURSE Proposal – 2014*



Division:  OISE


Course Title:  Inquiry Based Learning: in the 21st Century[a1] 


Instructor: Professor Jim Slotta


Intended Launch Date:  February 2015




Relationship to UofT Credit Courses, Programs or Research Initiatives


Is this Open Course based on an existing UofT credit course?
(if yes, please list the course name and code):


“Technology, Curriculum and Instruction-- OISE/UT 5574H”




Is the intent to use this Open course for teaching an inverted or blended
UofT credit course as well as offering an Open version?


            Yes. “Technology, Curriculum and Instruction-- OISE/UT 5574H” is a blended course with a persistent and integrated online presence and a progressive wiki-based knowledge community. Target audience for the Open Course is teachers, teacher educators, administrators, teacher education instructors, school principals, graduate students, and anyone who is interested in learning about the latest developments in the field of Inquiry Based Learning.

Lectures and presentations, theoretical and practice-centered, produced for this Open Course will be used in the credit course in an inverted classroom format. Ideas and knowledge objects co-constructed by Open Course learners in their collaborative activities will be used as a resource for students taking the credit course as they conceptualize their ideas about a technology-integrated inquiry based lesson design. We will explore the opportunity, upon obtaining consent from learners, to use inquiry-based learning lesson designs submitted to the Open Course as assignments anonymously as cases in the UofT credit course for critique and improvement. Examples of technological environments and resources designed to enhance Inquiry Based Learning or aggregated by the Open Course learners will be integrated with OISE/UT 5574H course resources for further update and revision.



Are there additional resourcing needs to deliver the credit course version beyond normal divisional allocations (ie instructor and TA support)? If so have these resources been confirmed by the sponsoring Dean’s Office?


            No additional resources needed to deliver the credit course beyond divisional allocations. 


Library? ed commons (director of ed commons), TAs, 



Is the course associated with a research grant or funded initiative?



using any SSHRC money or Newton? 


Course/Module Description:  


Please outline your goals and objectives and briefly describe your project:


This Open Course, Inquiry Based Learning in the 21st Century[a3] , extends the application of fostering the theoretical framework of Knowledge Community and Inquiry (Slotta, 2008) in a large scale settings and scaffolds collective knowledge construction that enables participants to leverage large number of ideas to enhance their learning. The goal of this course is to facilitate learners’ efforts to construct and apply their knowledge of technology-integrated Inquiry Based Learning. The course provides a venue for learners to also join their peers in a knowledge community that will form in the duration of the Open Course and will be left open after the Open Course is concluded.


The course is divided into three modules, each covered in two weeks, that represent the desired learning outcomes of the course:

  • Apply methods of inquiry in teaching and learning
  • Foster collaboration and knowledge construction among learners
  • Identify and use technology to support and enhance inquiry (e.g. Web 2.0, social networks, presentation tools)


Assignments that count towards course outcome include:

  • Automatically graded quizzes
  • Case critique: Peer reviewed
  • Inquiry lesson design: Peer assessed in two phases, design proposal and final lesson design


Learners in this course will be given the opportunity to join in community-driven Special Interest Groups that use shared virtual spaces to brainstorm innovative ways that technology would scaffold inquiry based learning where such learning scenarios would be unachievable without technology. This voluntary knowledge community aspect of the Open Course moves beyond the assignments and encourages learners with similar interests to create a shared knowledge base and together advance their knowledge in a specialized domain.


Weekly non-graded personal reflections will be utilized to promote learners’ metacognitve awareness of and further enable them to regulate their own and their peers’ learning.


A research study will be designed with this Open Course where Professor Slotta and his co-investigators to study the impacts of participation on learners’ knowledge and practice relevant to Inquiry Based Learning. Research questions that guide this study are:

  • What are kind of professional development opportunities does an IBL MOOC offer to participants?
  • In what ways does participation in an IBL MOOC impact learners’ attitude towards IBL?
  • In what ways does participation in an IBL MOOC impact learners’ knowledge of IBL?
  • In what ways does participation in an IBL MOOC impact learners’ integration of IBL into their current or future teaching practice?
  • How do patterns of engagement differ between Knowledge Community stream and conventional stream?


Proposed Length of Course (modules/weeks): ie x modules of x weeks


The Open Course is designed in three modules over a total of 6 weeks. Each module is covered in two consecutive weeks. For each module, the first week attends to theories, concepts, and ideas. During the second week, a practice-based approach allows learners to apply their conceptual knowledge to their lesson design ideas and reflect on their progress.


Course components (note all that apply): 

            Those that apply are bolded

–         (Yes) Recorded videos and/or audio-only

–         (Yes) PDF or similar documents

–         Formal recommended textbook

–         (Yes) Moderated or mediated discussion forums

–         (Yes) Self-regulated (un-moderated) discussion forums

–         Live webcasts or webinars

–         (Yes) Instant feedback MCQ quizzes

–         (Yes) Peer assessed exercises

–         Individual student workspaces (programming space, drawing space, whiteboard, etc)

–         (Yes) Other components (please list):

  • Etherpad[a4] , google docs, or wiki pages for progressive, collaborative knowledge co-construction
  • Reflections in the form of personal wiki
  • Special Interest Groups; community-moderated




Resourcing Needs:



Does the instructor have an existing relationship with a publisher or e-learning product company?




Have all course resources (readings, videos, software etc.) been copyright checked for use in an Open course?

            Only open access resources will be used.[a5] 



Have you considered the following roles in the development of this course proposal?
(check off all that apply):

–         (Yes) Instructor(s)

–         (Yes) Teaching Assistant(s)

–         (Yes) Educational Technology Professional(s)

–         (No[a6] ) Liaison Librarian(s)

–         (Yes) Media Production professionals

–         Others (please list):


Who has been consulted for input on proposal?


            We have consulted with Laurie Harrison.


Has full funding/resourcing for the design and development of this course been secured?

            An[a7]  application for Open Course Initiative Fund is submitted.


Preferences for delivery environment, if any:

–         Coursera

–         (Preferred) EdX

–         iTunes

–         WordPress CMS

–         BlackBoard LMS

–         Other:


* This form is intended for proposals for Open Courses including but not limited to OCIF projects and MOOCs




This proposal has been endorsed by the following senior academic leader on behalf of the Office of The Dean for the Division responsible for resourcing of this Open Course:







 [a1]Change title to something more catchy an also attach course description




Meet with Jim and share this with him. Then, Laurie will contact Jim


Who needs to know about this? Does Jim want to share it with Doug or the dean???

 [a2]Not sure about this so I am leaving it blank.

 [a3]Maybe a more catchy title

 [a4]Exploration of coauthing tools will be essential for knowledge co-constriction. We could suggest another technology too. Volume of participants could be problem. Better to go with edx tools so that if it doesn’t work it is edx’s fault.


We can say on top of the wiki what the intent of use of the annotated resources

 [a5]I assume we do this in consultation with library

Charmaine added both open and copyrighted resources

 [a6]Rita Vine

 [a7]We need to draft a budget for the whole.

Time commitment for Jim 4 to 5 hours a week.

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