Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton publishes slate article on active online learning Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Principal Investigator (PI) of the NASA Psyche mission, Managing Director of ASU's Interplanetary Initiative, Professor at Arizona State University, and one of Beagle's Co-Founders, is no stranger to active and interactive learning.

Elkins-Tanton recently published a Slate article, where she writes about the course she runs with her co-instructor, Dr. Evgenya Shkolnik. "I teach a class called “Inquiry,” where the subject matter changes every semester, but what’s really being taught is ways of independent learning and problem-solving. Evgenya and I use a technique called “open inquiry," and…the course is designed to build an answer to a big question, and we choose a different one each semester." As Elkins-Tanton writes, there's, "almost no lecturing, and instead of me bringing information to the students, they decide what questions they want to pursue—and then they collaborate on that research."

This method of open inquiry is what we believe in at Beagle. Elkins-Tanton helped to create the Beagle Inquiry Framework, which not only guides our product, but is also what helps run her "Inquiry" class at ASU. And even though Elkins-Tanton has used open-inquiry long before COVID-19, she acknowledges that teachers feel that interactive strategies might seem very difficult to implement in online learning. But, when her class moved online, she and co-instructor Evgenya Shkolnik "realized that almost every part of it could be kept the same. The big difference was meeting via Zoom instead of in person and having to trade our giant beautiful whiteboards for software replacements for sharing information."

She also explains that passive learning, like just lecturing, is "an ineffective way to teach" because students are missing "involvement, of, for example, drawing concept maps, asking questions, or debating with and or explaining to others...Active learning, where students work individually or in groups to tackle problems and ideas," not only "works beautifully online" but allows a student to have "control over the direction of learning and responsibility for finding answers and content," giving the student the opportunity "to become a lifelong learner, a problem-solver, and an informed citizen." The article becomes a thoughtful call to action to reimagine education -- online and otherwise -- as an active, interactive, student-led experience.

Read Lindy's wonderful piece here.

Check out Lindy's other thoughts, writings and explorations here: