Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) as a Driver of Curriculum: A Staged Approach

  • Fabiola E Aparicio-Ting University of Calgary
  • Donna M Slater
  • Ebba U Kurz
Keywords: Inquiry-based learning, undergraduate, scaffolding, inquiry curriculum


Inquiry-based learning provides students with an opportunity to take ownership of their learning while developing important higher order skills necessary for designing innovative solutions to complex modern health problems. In our undergraduate health sciences program, critical thinking, creativity, research skills and innovative thinking are core program learning outcomes, and thus inquiry-based learning is an important pillar of our curriculum. We have taken a staged approach, integrating inquiry-based learning (IBL) into each year of a four-year undergraduate degree program that scaffolds structure and independence to suit undergraduate student needs from the first to third years and culminating in an independent, student-driven honours thesis in the fourth year. In this paper, we share practical IBL strategies that pair with student needs throughout the four-year continuum and highlight strategies to address challenges at each stage of learning.

Author Biography

Fabiola E Aparicio-Ting, University of Calgary

Instructor, Community Health Sciences
Cumming School of Medicine

Director, Health & Society
Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours program



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Conference Theme: Students as Drivers