Inquiry-based learning as a facilitator to student engagement in undergraduate and graduate social work programs

Keywords: Student engagement, inquiry-based learning, professional education, mixed methods, social work


This seven-cohort mixed methods study examines student engagement in their learning in higher education utilizing inquiry-based learning. The study was conducted in varied settings (on-campus, in community, and study abroad), and across various degree levels (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) in social work education. Study results reveal an increase in participant reflective and integrative learning, and an increase in higher-order learning. Qualitative findings support the results through four emergent themes: (1) experience of inquiry-based learning, (2) adjustments required for learning process, (3) impactful facilitators to learning, and (4) developing deep learning. Implications and recommendations are offered for higher education and professional programs.

Author Biographies

Beth Archer-Kuhn, University of Calgary

Beth Archer-Kuhn is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary (CAN) and the recipient of the university’s Teaching Scholars Award.

Yeonjung Lee, University of Calgary

Yeonjung Lee is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary (CAN).

Savannah Finnessey, University of Calgary

Savannah Finnessey, a social worker at North York General Hospital, is a graduate student in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary (CAN).

Jacky Liu, University of Calgary

Jacky Liu is a graduate student in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary (CAN).


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How to Cite
Archer-Kuhn, Beth, Yeonjung Lee, Savannah Finnessey, and Jacky Liu. 2020. “Inquiry-Based Learning As a Facilitator to Student Engagement in Undergraduate and Graduate Social Work Programs”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 8 (1), 187-207.