Conference Schedule

Developing Trust in Higher Education Inquiry-Based Learning Environments

CC12 • concurrent • Return to conference schedule
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 • 3:15 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
Dillon Hall 256
Beth Archer-Kuhn University of Calgary Show biographies
Beth Archer-Kuhn joined the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary in August 2015. Beth’s research agenda includes social work education with a specific interest in inquiry-based learning, on campus, on-line and study abroad. Beth integrates research and teaching to support student learning as critically reflexive practitioners. She teaches across programs, clinical, ICD, leadership, and across levels of programs, BSW, MSW, and PhD. Her most recent partnership study explores risk and trust in inquiry-based learning.
Natalie Beltrano University of Calgary
Natalie Beltrano is a graduate student in social work at the University of Calgary and a research assistant on this project. Her practice background is in child welfare within a local context.
Stacey MacKinnon UPEI
My research currently focuses on curiosity and inquiry. I am particularly interested in understanding how curiosity and inquiry can help promote investment and ownership of learning and more meaningful engagement in both the classroom and in our day to day interactions with others. In addition, I am exploring the possibility that curiosity and may be important pieces of the resilience puzzle. My most recent partnership study explores risk and trust in inquiry-based learning.

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.