Add a Unit
The “Add a Unit” feature allows you to utilize the Inquiry Unit format to suit your own needs, while sharing helpful information with the rest of the collaborative community.
For example, while Inquiry Units were originally designed to be a template for thinking about inquiry-based lesson plans, they have become a versatile tool used by many communities. Members have employed the Units to:
- Design courses
- Assign projects/homework assignments
- Complete projects/homework assignments
- Assess student work
- Create to-do lists and research agendas
- Coordinate activities among group members
- Collaborate on workshop and conference presentations
- Outline and draft research articles
- From any Inquiry Page:
- Click on the “Inquiry Units” button in the sidebar. You are now at the “Search Inquiry Units” page.
- From the “Search Inquiry Units” page:
- Click on the "Add a Unit" button at the top left just under the banner. If you are not already logged in, a page will appear asking you to submit your user name and password.
- Type in your name and password and click “Login”.
You're now ready to create your own unit.
You will be asked to fill out an Inquiry Unit form.
Do not be intimidated by those empty boxes ("field headings"). The
field headings act as guides to assist you in organizing an inquiry-based unit.
Each of these fields naturally corresponds to a stage in the inquiry process
(ask, investigate, create, discuss, and reflect).
|Please note that at any time on this page, you can click on the
"Help" button at the top right. Here you will find a tutorial, a
printable copy of the tutorial, and a growing list of the most frequently asked
questions (FAQs) and their answers.
- Your name and email address should automatically appear in their respective fields. If not, please enter them, as they are required fields.
- Next, mark your unit as "Public" or "Private" by clicking on the appropriate circle. "Public" means that the unit can be seen by others (Inquiry members or not). "Private" means only you can see it. For right now, we suggest that you keep it at the default setting, "Public."
- Click “No” next to the question, "Is this unit ready to use?", which also happens to be the default setting. When the creator of a unit feels his/her unit has developed enough to be used by others, the creator can mark it "ready to use."
- Click “Yes” next to the question, "Do you want your email address on your unit?" This fosters communication and builds community between users of the Inquiry Page.
- Click “Yes”, the default setting, next to the final question, “Do you want to have Inquiry Page users’ feedback on the unit?” This also fosters communication and builds community between users of the Inquiry Page.
- Enter the names of any coauthors (if you're working in teams).
In this stage of the Inquiry cycle, we begin with a guiding question or
thought for your particular line of inquiry.
- In the "Guiding question" field:
- Type in an initial question that will help to focus the purpose of your Unit. This question should be short enough to form the title of your unit. Examples of real guiding questions on the Inquiry Page:
For today, think of a topic you want to find more about and put it in question form. You will no doubt edit and change this question, so don't worry about getting locked in to it. This is a required field.
- "What library and information services are provided for librarians serving the Latino community?"
- "How do educators use Chickscope to help students learn?"
- Next, click on the boxes next to the applicable subject/curricular areas in which your unit may fit. You may choose as many as you think apply to your unit. Feel free to list areas in the "Others" box. These terms will serve as search terms for users.
- In the "Enter keywords…" area:
- Enter any applicable words that will help others search your unit. For example, if my unit is "How do frogs grow?" I may include "polliwog," "tadpoles," and "eggs."
- In the "Open Directory" section:
- Enter the same or similar search terms. Open Directory Project is a directory of the web using common search terms, and edited by volunteer editors. You can enter the same terms you used above, if you like.
- If you are creating this unit as part of one of our partner projects, click on the appropriate partner project. Most, if not all of you, are not yet associated with any of these so you can leave this blank. If you are associated with one of these projects, please click on the appropriate partner project box.
- Next, click on the grade level that your unit most serves. Again, this is yet another way for your unit to be searched.
- Write a brief "rationale" for your unit. This is a simple statement of how your guiding question came to interest you.
- For example, "The study of frogs in the third grade classroom became an engaged activity when one of my students found frog eggs and we incubated them in the class. I realized we could serve the art, language arts, science, and even math curriculum around this one topic of interest."
At this stage of inquiry, you will be building a list of resources you find useful as you follow your guiding question:
- Make them complete bibliographic references so others can use them.
- If you haven't identified any resources yet, leave this blank and return
to it later.
In this space, list activities learners might engage in while they conduct this inquiry. Here is where you will be building on the information you've gathered and begin to create new knowledge.
- Enter exercises, labs, and activities that either you yourself engage in as you follow your guiding question OR design learning activities that will guide other learners.
- Again, for today, you may leave this blank. You will be coming back to this when you begin shaping your unit.
An integral part of the inquiry process is communication and community. At any point you may find opportunities (i.e.: listserves, in-class presentations, meetings with coworkers/students/peers, webboards, etc.) that serve the "discuss" aspect of your inquiry unit.
- Include here those that apply directly to your unit. Also include here any venues that are appropriate.
To reflect means to assess where you are in terms of your guiding question.
Reflection on your research path, on certain activities you did, or even the
question itself is in order.
- In the first box, step back and evaluate your inquiry. Has a solution been found? Have new questions come to light?
- In the second box, relate the story of the unit. How did it go? If you have had responses from other educators, share them here.
- In the third box, note any credits and acknowledgements that you may have to share.
- These reflections may or may not strictly apply to your unit.
- For example, "teachers response" may not be fit your line of inquiry; however, feedback from peers, co-workers, your T.A., or professors may be more appropriate to include here.
- You may shift your question and decide it "didn't work" as you thought. That's fine. That, too, is part of the inquiry process.
- You will fill this in after you have worked on your unit a bit. For today, leave it blank.
Files can be uploaded to the Inquiry server. They can be images, text, audio,
- If you already know the file location and name, you can enter it in the
- If you don't know the file name, click on the "browse" button to
- Locate the file you choose to upload and click on it.
- The file name will now appear in the field.
- The file name should be less than 80 characters.
- The file name shouldn't include any special characters except underscore character.
- When you click the submit button, the file(s) will be uploaded to the Inquiry Page server under your Unit's directory.
You can also create a hyperlink to the uploaded file within the Unit.
When you submit an Inquiry Unit, the Inquiry Page automatically creates a hyperlink
to each of your uploaded files at the bottom of the Unit. Thus, if you move the mouse
over the uploaded file's name, you should be able to see the URL for the uploaded file
at the bottom of web browser. If you have difficulty locating the URL, here is a way
to find the URL for your uploaded file.
- If your Unit display URL ends with "xmlfile=u1000.xml" and the file name is "my_file.doc", the URL for the uploaded file is http://inquiry.uiuc.edu/xml_units/u1000/my_file.doc
- Once you locate the URL for the uploaded file, you can create hyperlinks to the uploaded file using a standard HTML coding method.
- If you want to put a hyperlink to the file in the Unit, just type the whole URL or put the following HTML code:
- <a href="/xml_units/u10000/my_file.doc">My file</a>
- If your uploaded file is a GIF or JPG file and you want to show the image in the Unit, type:
- <img src="/xml_units/u10000/my_image.gif" alt="my image">
- Click on the "submit" button at the top or bottom of the page. This
is how you will be posting your unit for others to see.
- A page will appear with your unit and a "Thank you" at the bottom.
Edit your Unit Help | Spin-off