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Inquiry and Analysis | The Teaching & Learning Centre | Seneca College

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Inquiry and Analysis

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A systematic process of exploring issues and challenges through the collection and analysis of evidence gained by breaking complex topics or issues into relevant and simpler parts.

Benchmark for Achievement
The graduate explores issues by generating questions and breaking complex topics into relevant parts in order to arrive at informed conclusions and make informed judgements and decisions.

The graduate:

  • Identifies the components of complex topics or issues
  • Asks relevant questions
  • Presents evidence to support general conclusion

At the Program Level
The program provides opportunities to ask questions about the discipline and explore issues, objects or works through the collection and evaluation of evidence in order to make informed decisions. The process of breaking complex topics or issues into manageable parts in order to better understand the whole is highlighted.

Questions to Guide Mapping

  • Are students taught a process or model for inquiry and analysis?
  • Are students encouraged and given an opportunity to critique and question content/resources and ideas/assumptions?
  • Is inquiry and analysis defined and examples of expected levels of analysis provided?
  • Do assignments and activities clearly describe the requirement for inquiry and analysis?
  • Are assignments assessed based on level of analysis?


  • AAC&U Inquiry and Analysis VALUE Rubric
    The Inquiry and Analysis VALUE Rubric defines inquiry and analysis (according to AAC&U), lists the fundamental criteria, and describes four levels of performances for each criterion.
  • Inquiry-Based Learning from the Ministry of Education Ontario
    Produced by the Student Achievement Division of the Ministry of Education Ontario, this issue of Capacity Building Series from May 2013 reviews the key characteristics of inquiry-based learning, provides examples and offers guiding principles for faculty and guiding questions for students.
  • Inquiry-Based Learning from Queen’s University
    Queen’s University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning defines inquiry-based learning, explains its importance, and offers some strategies, guidelines and resources.
  • Inquiry Rubric from Galileo Educational Network
    Galileo Educational Network rubric lists eight criteria of inquiry studies (some containing more than one aspect) and describes four levels for each criterion.
  • Learning to Think: A Foundation for Analysis – a video from Teaching Channel
    Sarah Wessling uses advertisements to build her students’ analytical skills– observe, find patterns, draw conclusions.
  • Problem Analysis SlideShare
    Here is a collection of problem analysis presentations.
  • Prompts That Get Students to Analyze, Reflect, Relate and Question from Faculty Focus
    Maryellen Weimer offers four question-prompts that cause students to analyze, reflect, relate and question as they answer. She also provides some examples of how to use this question-set.
  • Summary vs. Analysis
    Devon D. Jancin’s handout explains the difference between analyzing and summarizing.
  • Workshop: Inquiry-Based Learning from ThirteenEd Online, Concept to Classroom
    Work your way through this self-paced workshop on inquiry-based learning– explanation, demonstration, exploration and implementation sections.

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