Inquiry Unit Frequently Asked Questions

The Inquiry Page Project

Inquiry Page Units

Troubleshooting

How Do I...? (These topics are linked to tutorials)




The Inquiry Page Project

Why would I want to be a member of the Inquiry Page?

While anyone can access and read the inquiry units there are several advantages to becoming a registered member of the IP project. Facilitating collaboration and sharing of ideas is one of the major goals of this project. You can both benefit from and contribute to this community by creating your own content and engaging others in discussions about this project, its partner projects as well as inquiry-based learning in general. More specifically, members of the Inquiry Page can:

Go to Top

What does it mean to be a partner of the Inquiry Page?

The Inquiry Page seeks to create a virtual meeting ground for both indiviuals and other groups interested in the ideas behind inquiry-based learning. The IP sees itself as a hub of a community wheel and its partner projects as spokes. Although there are no formal partnership types at this time, we can generally classify our partners into 4 levels: For more information about partner projects and how your group can become a partner, see our partner page.

Go to Top


Inquiry Page Units

What is an Inquiry Unit?

The simplest way to describe an Inquiry Unit is as an online curriculum planning and sharing tool; however, Inquiry Units have the potential to be much, much more. What an Inquiry Unit is depends on how you choose to use the Inquiry Unit format to suit your needs.

The Inquiry Unit feature lets people from all different backgrounds (educators, students, professionals, community members) create, access, enhance and share experiences in Inquiry-based learning. By building Inquiry Units, you contribute to a dynamic, collective body of knowledge that can be utilized and shared by all even as it continues to grow and change. Click here to view sample Inquiry Units.

Go to Top

How do you use it?

What an Inquiry Unit is depends on how you choose to use this tool to suite your needs. An Inquiry Unit can be as simple as a set of hypertext links to web sites for student exploration of a chosen topic. It may be more complex. Hypertext links might be included to supplement specific readings and outlines for in-class and out of class activities, in addition to how you justify your lesson approach and evaluate your students. Perhaps you were able to decide upon an evaluation method after posting your concerns to one of the Inquiry Page discussion forums. . . Having searched through existing units with a keyword search, it is possible that you generated your unit by building upon another existing unit. This can be done by using what is called the "Spin-Off" option. Later someone else may build upon your unit in the same manner. It's up to you.

Go to Top

Name and email fields: what are my options here?

Actually, you may enter anything you like in these fields. However, for the units to be useful to you it is important that you write down the information entered here so that you may be sure you are able to find, edit or delete your unit(s).

Important: be sure to use an existing email account so that the password scheme can reach you.

Go to Top

What happens if I designate my unit as public/private?

When a unit has been designated as public, anyone can read the information you have typed into the fields.
In contrast, only the unit author may view units designated as private.

Go to Top

Who can see my in-progress Inquiry Unit?

You can mark your inquiry unit as "private" which will allow no one except you and the site administrators to view it. If you want others to be able to access your Unit, but to understand that it is not a complete Unit, you can mark it as "public" but "not ready to use". One of our goals has been to present an Inquiry Unit collection of works in progress. We should be able to learn from anyone's Unit, while still realizing that these units are constantly being updated and expanded.

Go to Top

What does it mean to spin off a Unit?

By selecting the Spin-Off option the information from the unit you are currently viewing will be presented to you in a new set of editable fields. Now you may customize the content by changing it to suit your needs.

Important: Remember to give your new customized unit a new title or it will not be easily recognized as a new and different unit.

Go to Top

Troubleshooting

Why can't I edit my Unit?

In order to edit your unit, you must be logged in with the same email address that is on the unit. If you have created more than one profile (with different email addresses) then you have to be sure you have logged in with the one that matches this unit.

If you changed your email address in the member profile area, then all your units with the old email address will be inaccessible. In order to avoid this:

  1. change your email back to the original one in the member profile
  2. search all your units by putting your address in the search box
  3. change the email address on each unit to the new address
  4. edit your member profile to the new email address

Another way this could happen is if the textbox on the unit that contains your email address has a typo in it. If this is the case, you can temporarily change your email address in order to access the unit:

  1. Change your email address to match the typo in your member profile
  2. Edit the unit you are having trouble with. Enter your correct email address and save the changes.
  3. Change your email address back to the correcct one in your member profile.
If the email address that you have logged in under is the same as an email address on the unit and you are still having trouble, contact the Inquiry Page.

Go to Top

Why do I see duplicates of my Unit?

Maybe you clicked the back button after you submitted your Unit and then submit the same Unit again. If this is the case, select the duplicates on the search result page and delete them.

Go to Top

Why do I get internal server error message?

There's a time limit for sending and receiving information on the web. Usually, web servers kick out any transactions after a certain amount of time in order to prevent server rundown, which is usually caused by heavy, prolonged server load.

Because of this safety measure, you may not be able to get to your designated page or to send your information to the Inquiry Page server, if (a) the information you put in the Inquiry Unit is huge and your network connection is really slow, or (b) too many people are accessing the server at the same time.

If this is the case, follow these suggestions: 1. If you want to create a lengthy Inquiry Unit, try using a faster network connection, if you have one available to you. If you are still unable to put the information into the Inquiry server with faster lines, separate the Unit into multiple Units. Updating a little bit at a time on one Unit doesn't solve this problem since the Inquiry Page sends all of the information again, every time you hit the submit button. 2. If you are not sending a lengthy document or uploading big files to the Inquiry Page server but still get the internal server error, try it again a little bit later.

Go to Top

Why isn't my Unit displayed properly?

One possibility is some of your encoded HTML tags are incomplete. For example, if you wanted to put a hyperlink to the Inquiry home page in your Unit and put incomplete HTML code, such as:

<a href="http://www.cii.illinois.edu/InquiryPage/>Inquiry Page

it would cause some display problems. Did you catch the mistakes? First, it doesn't end hyperlink tag with </a>. Second, the URL inside of the <a href= > starts with quotation mark ("), but does not end with a matching quotation mark. The correct HTML codes are like this.

<a href="http://www.cii.illinois.edu/InquiryPge/">Inquiry Page </a>

It's basic HTML coding, but these kinds of mistakes are very common, and they are powerful enough to corrupt your Unit display!!! If you are entering HTML codes, please make sure your HTML tags are complete.

Go to Top

How Do I...? (These topics are linked to tutorials)