Constructing Disciplinary Inquiry Communities Using Web 2.0 Technologies

Constructing Disciplinary Inquiry Communities Using Web 2.0 Technologies

Jamie Wood (University of Manchester, UK) and Martin J. Ryan (University of Manchester, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-879-1.ch012


This chapter explores the utility of Web 2.0 technologies for supporting independent inquiry-based learning, with a particular focus upon the use of blogs and social bookmarking tools. It begins by outlining the key issues confronting practitioners wishing to engage with such technologies before moving on to describe the approaches that were adopted in a range of first-year History seminar classes in two research-led universities in the UK. The chapter closes with an evaluation of the positive impact of the use of Web 2.0 on student learning and any drawbacks that were encountered. Web 2.0 is judged to have had a positive impact upon student engagement with course materials, encouraging student to conduct independent research outside of class and generating significant interactions between students and their peers as well as with tutors. Future avenues for research include investigations into how the use of such technologies can be scaled up for larger student groups and what impact summative assessment might have upon student engagement.
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Background And Issues: Inquiry-Based Learning And Web 2.0

We set out below the issues that interest us in particular in the use of Web 2.0 technologies to develop inquiry communities, ending each section with the key question that is to be explored.

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