Today, our Class Tracker Ambassador Gianna shares her reasons for adopting inquiry-based learning into her online college experience and why you should try the approach!
It is 6am as I wake up to face another day of online learning. As the day begins, I immediately check my planner and see that it is full of color-coded events and deadlines. I have a three-hour Zoom call from 8am to 11am for an online lab. After my online lab, I have a two-hour class and a few meetings to attend. By the end of the day, I have spent a staggering seven hours on Zoom calls.
The monotony of my schedule is not uncommon. During COVID-19, most college students are spending upwards of five hours per day attending virtual classes. As a result, students are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout and diminished motivation.
After living in this reality for months, I have developed a way to beat burnout by implementing a simple strategy in my life: inquiry-based learning. Inquiry-based learning is an educational approach that is centered around the idea that curiosity should inspire learning. Instead of focusing on facts and rote memorization, an inquiry-based approach is student-centered and uses curiosity to guide learning. Although many teachers do not implement inquiry-based learning as a strategy in the classroom or online, students can use it to take charge of their education.
Instead of sitting through online lectures and trying to absorb everything, I started using classes to form questions about a topic. I use these questions as jumping-off points to expand my knowledge through curiosity. Simply stated, I was learning how to think instead of what to think.
This new approach has been essential to my success as an online student. During my first semester of full-time online school as a dual enrollment high school and college student, I struggled to engage with my learning. As a result of implementing this method in my life, I have devolved a renewed sense of intrinsic motivation.
Thanks for sharing, Gianna! Comment below with your tips for maintaining motivation during online classes.