Inquiry Quest is an inquiry-based assessment created by the Instructional Technology Department in Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton, CO. It encourages our students to think, problem-solve, as well as be producers and consumers of knowledge. Here is a little bit about this assessment.
What is it? Inquiry Quest is an inquiry based project that includes a digital product as the mode of communication during the students' final presentation.
Why was it created?Most importantly, it was created to get our students to think critically and problem-solve while researching authentic topics. All projects, which center on student selected essential questions, will be presented to a panel of community members and Adams 12 employees. Secondly, the federal government, in accordance with NCLB, has mandated that all students must be assessed for the technological literacy skills (based on the ISTE NETS standards). Last year, we gave our 8th graders a paper/pencil, multiple choice test. It was determined by many 8th grade teachers and teacher librarians that a project based learning task would be more effective and of higher quality.
How will this project fit into an already packed schedule? This project can be integrated into any content area. Teachers have the flexibility of identifying a general subject area, but it is critical to allow students to decide their topic of study within that subject. Administrators at each of the prototype schools said research projects are already happening in their schools, so this doesn't look too much different from what good teachers already do.