Episode 41 How to Connect Learning Goals with Inquiry-Based Learning

In this episode, Dan explains how to connect your learning goals and inquiry based learning.

Creative Commons License
How to connect your learning goals and inquiry based learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Video show

Show notes


  • John Hattie
  • Dylan William
  • Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

Learning Goals

Episode 1 is all about the importance of learning goals:

  • You need to know where you are going in order to know how to get there.
  • Business coach talks about setting destinations and then building the tracks to get there.

So when we create learning we start with the goal and identify sub-goals which build together to achieve the larger goal.


I want students to be able to apply the principles of training appropriately for 3 or more different sports. I break it down to:

  • Understand the principles of training
  • Understand different types and methods of training
  • Break down sports to identify the relevant types of training for the sport etc

Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry Based Learning is all about asking questions. These come from the teacher and the student.

You can get more information from episode 37 that looks at critical inquiry based learning

So, when we bring them together we are essentially converting our goals into questions and our sub-goals into sub-questions.


If I had a goal for my students to be able to promote their health and the health of others during the coronavirus pandemic. My questions might be: How might we promote our own health and the health of others amidst the coronavirus pandemic?

A sub-goal may have been to be able to evaluate health statistics and understand data, graphs and charts that communicate epidemiology

My sub-question then might look like: How might we use epidemiology to identify health priorities and determine the risk of the coronavirus?

Student Questioning

For inquiry based learning I also want my students asking questions, so, I might use a wonder wall, or a know, wonder, learn chart.

Even a simple question such as “what do we need to know in order to answer this question?” will get students asking more questions.

They may even do so without thinking

My Students

This week 2 of my students were doing some research into coronavirus and I was talking to them about them asking questions that helps to guide their own learning and research.

They both said they didn’t have any questions… But in fact that did, but they had already done the research and answered them.

They had wondered about the % of people who had the disease in multiple countries and calculated it

They had then calculated the risk of dying from the disease once you had it.

They were both blown away by how low these numbers were and how low the risk was, which made them then ask “why it had been made a health priority?”

And that was exactly the question I wanted them to ask and then lead them to looking at our response to new viruses, comparing coronavirus with CVD and cancer, and thinking about the different types of diseases.

It was fantastic, but they hadn’t even noticed because they had gotten into the “flow” of learning and were deeply engaged and interested.

But, this did not just happen. It was crafted through the design of the learning.

There were goals, which were turned into questions which caused them to begin to ask more questions.

This is what I want

I want my students to learn without knowing that is what they are doing.

To enjoy it, to be focused and engaged to the point where they don’t realise they are learning all on their own… and enjoying it! Having those moments where their minds are blown and they wonder why? And how?

This Week

Identify your learning goals, craft them.

Then turn them into questions and ask your students what they already know and what they will need to know in order to answer the question.

Record their statements and questions and build inquiry into your students’ learning.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.