Research on inquiry-based learning (IBL) in post-secondary settings is limited. Unique university circumstances make the quick and meaningful development of trust a necessary condition for taking intellectual risks in the classroom; a key component of the learning process. Research on how to develop trust in higher education settings where students are asked to step outside their comfort zone and engage in IBL is sparse.
The audience will interact with a current study exploring risk/trust in higher education, sharing data collected through four focus groups (phase 1) with Canadian university students and instructors, and international researchers who have shared their experiences of IBL through scholarship. Four themes emerged from the data including: 1) the reciprocity of risk and trust on the learning journey of IBL; 2) shared not equal power facilitates instructor ability to navigate boundaries to overcome barriers of student engagement in their learning; 3) safe spaces invites, encourages, and supports mutual respect among a community of learners who take intellectual risks in an authentic environment; and 4) the speed and depth of trust is relative to the amount of time and level of immersion in the relationships. The audience will consider the data in relation to their course experience with risk/trust.