Inquiry Learning & Knowledge Integration


Contributor: Marcia Linn

Research on inquiry learning and knowledge integration combines advances in theory, instructional design, and technology. To help students integrate their ideas, inquiry instruction can exploit the multiple, often conflicting ideas that students have about personal, societal, and environmental dilemmas and promote coherent arguments about economic disparity or health decision-making. Technologies such as natural language processing, interactive simulations, games, collaborative tools, and personalized guidance can support students to become autonomous learners. These technologies can capture class performance and inform teachers of student progress. Research investigates inquiry learning by studying (a) student-initiated investigations of thorny, contemporary problems using modeling and visualization tools, (b) design projects featuring analysis of alternatives, testing prototypes, and iteratively refining solutions in complex disciplines, and (c) personalized guidance that encourages gathering evidence from multiple sources and refining ideas. Inquiry learning capabilities empower all citizens to integrate their ideas and seek evidence-based explanations for new dilemmas.

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Syllabi and Slides

Inquiry Learning slides by Marcia Linn

Video Resources

Listen to the Inquiry Learning webinar


  • Chiu, J,. & Linn, M. C. (2011). Knowledge Integration and WISE Engineering. Journal of Pre-college Engineering Education, 1(1), 1-14. [Access Online]
  • Linn, M. C., & Eylon, B.-S. (2011). Science Learning and Instruction: Taking advantage of technology to promote Knowledge Integration. New York: Routledge.
  • Linn, M. C., Eylon, B.-S., Rafferty, A. & Vitale, J. (2014). Designing Instruction for Inquiry Instruction. [Access Online]
  • Ryoo, K., & Linn, M. C. (2012). Can dynamic visualizations improve middle school students’ understanding of energy in photosynthesis? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(2), 218-243.

Learning Scientists Who Have Researched This Topic

  • Libby Gerard
  • Marcia Linn
  • Camillia Matuk
  • Kevin W. McElhaney