The Inquiry-Based Learning Project at The University of Texas at Austin

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas has a rich tradition in Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) going back to the time of R. L. Moore. The Inquiry-Based Learning Project in the Department of Mathematics supports the development and implementation of inquiry-based teaching techniques that transform students from being purely consumers of mathematics to creative producers of mathematical concepts and proofs. UT's IBL Project has a broad impact at UT and is also a national leader in developing and disseminating IBL methods and materials. Since 1996, the Educational Advancement Foundation and Harry Lucas, Jr. have supported this prominent, national work on IBL, and the impact of this work has had a significant impact on the effectiveness of teaching in the Department of Mathematics, in the College of Natural Sciences, and at colleges and universities across the country.

The IBL Project at UT has had a direct impact on thousands of undergraduate students who have benefited from IBL courses. It has trained and supported dozens of graduate students and post-docs whose experience with IBL at UT has been influential in their future careers in the mathematics profession. Graduate students, post-docs, and UT faculty members who wish to learn IBL methods and to incorporate IBL teaching and learning methods in their classrooms benefit from supportive mentoring and interaction with a robust community of IBL practitioners.

Michael Starbird and Mark Daniels direct the IBL Project. Some recent activities of the IBL Project include:

  • Publication of IBL textbooks
  • Support of multiple GRAs to assist in IBL mathematics classrooms
  • Mentoring of faculty and graduate students who are interested in incorporating IBL methods in their classrooms
  • Implementation of University Independent Inquiry Course Flags attached to various sections of IBL mathematics courses
  • Receipt of NSF grants to disseminate IBL instruction methods nationally through IBL workshops, some co-sponsored by the MAA
  • Offering of other workshops including an IBL Workshop for UT System Mathematics Faculty in Summer 2013—attended by 21 mathematics faculty members representing all nine of the UT System academic campuses.

UT's Inquiry Based Learning Project is a model for how a leading research department can make significant, global contributions to the creation of effective innovations in education.

IBL photos

IBL photos

IBL photos

IBL photos

IBL photos

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