INQ 444: The Course Portfolio

The University of New Hampshire's Inquiry 444 course is at one and the same time one course and many courses. Its singularity derives from the common learning outcomes that are associated with a set of agreed-upon "characteristics" of inquiry courses at UNH. The variety stems from the many unique versions of the INQ 444 through which those characteristics are made manifest and the outcomes achieved.

The Inquiry 444 Portfolio is intended to show how some instructors have been creating and teaching courses whose objectives are in keeping with the singular characteristics of 444s and yet express those common characteristics in their own very original ways. Various UNH faculty members from different departments have written course narratives to chart the process whereby they have designed courses that strike this balance. To access these course narratives, click on the titles listed on the right. Each narrative also contains a link to the syllabus for the course it describes.

Because assessment of student learning is such an important part of course and program improvement, we include in this portfolio an "assessment toolkit" that is focused on aspects of inquiry courses. The tools found therein were developed by faculty with inquiry learning outcomes in mind, and with the formative assessment of these courses collectively as a goal--as well as the assessment of the specific course the particular instructor was teaching. They represent attempts to address questions about what students are learning in these courses, and what features of the courses are most conducive to enhanced learning.

We wish to acknowledge the Davis Educational Foundation for a generous grant it made in support of this work.

Inquiry Course Characteristics and Outcomes

Dimond Library

In order to ensure that there is consistency among the various INQ 444 courses, the UNH Discovery Program Advisory Committee has drawn up a set of six inquiry "characteristics" or elements that distinguish these courses from other introductory-level discipline-based classes. Faculty who want to propose an INQ 444 course are asked to develop the course with these characteristics in mind. To see the statement of inquiry characteristics, click here.

Working with the inquiry characteristics, a team of faculty, with grant support from the Davis Educational Foundation, developed a set of broad student learning outcomes for the courses. These learning outcomes provide the basis for faculty to build and articulate the specific course objectives for their own INQ 444 courses. For the list of common learning outcomes, click here.