Welcome to ‘Inquiry and Integration in Education’ (IIE) – 2016. Over the next five months, we look forward to an intensive yet enjoyable intellectual adventure with you.
These introductory notes try to give you some idea of what to expect in IIE-2016, what is expected of you, how best to approach the course, and how to navigate through it.
The web-course is organized around two elements:
I Learning Triggers (LTs)
II Google Discussion Forums
(ii) The Open Forum.
A. The Learning Triggers (LTs)
An LT in IIE is typically a package made up of readings, videos, and a set of questions to address. You are expected to actively engage with them — read/watch, think through, discuss in groups, and post responses. Here’s how it works:
- We will mail you a new LT every alternate Monday for the first 12 weeks, starting 8 August. Each LT will have 2 weeks devoted to it, starting on the Monday when it is sent to you.
- All participants should have received an email with your registration number. That is your Unique Registration Number. Please note it down. (And remember where you made that note!). Yu will need this number in in order to submit your response to the LTs.
- ‘Week A’ (the week in which you receive an LT) is for you to read the LT, think about its contents, and discuss your views with friends / colleagues / fellow-participants in IIE. You are required to send in your responses as a word document, by 8 pm, the following Sunday (end of Week A). We will provide a link in each LT to help you easily upload the document.
- We will share your responses with all the participants on the Monday of Week B of the LT.
- While we may not be able to respond individually to everyone’s responses, we will pick up interesting views and important questions from all the participants’ responses to the LT and send out a consolidated feedback to all of you.
- During Week B, the Learning Trigger Forum will be open for discussions on the particular LT and on participants’ responses.
- We will follow this pattern till Week 12. Weeks 13-16 will be for consolidating ideas that have arisen during the course. We will use Weeks 17-20 for designing inquiry-oriented lesson plans.
B. The Discussion Forums
The course will have two discussion forums:
the Learning Trigger Forum, for the discussions of sequentially arranged LTs; and
the Open Forum, for engaging with ideas and questions arising from the discussions in LTs as well as other related ideas, in a less structured manner.
You will be a member of both forums.
Learning Trigger Forum
- The forum will be open during Week B of each LT for discussions on that particular LT.
- Make sure that your responses are relevant to the LT in question and to the responses of other participants.
- Here, we will post interesting questions relevant to inquiry and integration from time to time.
- This is where you can contribute new topics for reflection, ideas, or questions that are relevant to the course. If you wish to start a discussion on a new topic, email it to us at email@example.com, and we will be happy to start a thread for you if we consider the topic relevant to the course. Please do not start a new thread yourself.
iii. On topics of interest to you (posted by us or other participants), feel free to respond with comments, questions, disagreements, arguments, and requests for clarification.
How to use the Open and Learning Trigger Forums
- You will be added to both the discussion forums over the next few days. If you don’t receive an email about this by August 1st, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, before contacting us, do check your spam/junk folders for a notification (and mark it ‘not spam’ so that a mail from us will never land there again!).
- In these forums, you can either post through email or through the web interface.
- If you post through email, make sure you click ‘Reply All’and not ‘Reply’. If you click ‘Reply’, only the last person to post will receive your response, and not the entire group. If you happen to receive a mail sent only to you because of accidental clicking on ‘Reply’ instead of ‘Reply All’, please forward the mail to the entire group.
Some Norms for using the Discussion Forums Effectively and Efficiently
- We know you are busy. However, now that you have joined IIE, please take some time regularly to engage with the LTs and discussions. Also, do post your Learning Trigger-related submissions on time. That works better than rushing through the LT towards the end of the week.
- Please don’t send mails that don’t warrant a reply – e.g. ‘thank you’/ ‘I like it.’ notes.
- If you have questions about aspects of the organisation or adminstrative requirements of the course, email us at email@example.com.
- Please do not post advertisements or event invitations on the discussion forums. If you think an event is relevant to the IIE participants, write to us. We will take a call on sharing the information.
- If you are sharing external resources in a response, please include a short description of the resource, and not just the link/attachment, and specify how it is relevant to the course.
- If your view is being questioned by others, or if a thought strikes you, please don’t respond/mail immediately. It may be a good idea to put down your thought(s) in a Word .doc, leave it aside for an hour or two, read it again, and modify it if needed, before sending it to the relevant discussion forum.
- If you wish to start a new discussion on the Open Forum, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In discussion forums, please do argue to find the ‘truth’, but not to defeat another’s view or defend your own. Conversely, if a long-held view of yours is being punctured through rational arguments, please don’t take it personally or as a slight.
- Please don’t hesitate to raise a query because you fear that it might expose ‘ignorance’. A primary objective of this course is to make us question what we think we know. That holds true for both the participants and facilitators.
- This is an academic course. Please always keep the content relevant.
C. Completion of the Course
The criteria for successful completion of the course are:
- Regularity of submissions on Learning Triggers
- Quality of submissions in terms of depth of reflection
Participation in the Open Forum is not required (but is encouraged) for successful completion.
ThinQ will issue a certificate, upon request, to any participant who successfully completes the course.
D. Face-to-Face Workshop at IISER-Pune
Based on the quality and regularity of submissions, as well as interaction in and engagement with the discussion forums, a small number of participants will be invited for a 9-day intensive workshop to be held at IISER, Pune in December 2016. Since this is by invitation, appeals will not be considered.
Invited participants will be informed after Week 12, i.e. by the end of October. There will be no additional fee for this workshop.