The Yale Galapagos Project
Inquiry-based learning relies on three critical skills: observing, asking questions, and refining questions within a larger community of researchers. In June 2005, the Yale Instructional Solutions group traveled to the Galapagos to document, in high-definition video and photographs, the islands' unique wildlife and habitats. These media were incorporated into a web-based research tool used in Professor Stephen Stearns's popular undergraduate course, "Principles of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior."
In a 3-week activity, students learn to become good scientific observers by generating 10 scientific questions based on the Galapagos media. These questions are shared and evaluated within small groups through a Question Pool database and rating tool. Group members refine each student's top-ranked questions, which are then submitted to the instructor for further feedback. Each student ultimately selects one question as the basis of a scientific literature review or research proposal for a final writing assignment.
View the project website