Lecture, where learning is passive, remains a prevalent instructional method of teaching content. Contextualized approaches like Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) where students are more actively engaged remains less common. For 25 years the literature has supported contextualized approaches. Nevertheless, recent papers have claimed IBL to be an unguided approach that has produced content knowledge deficits. Therefore, we tested whether undergraduate physiology content could be learned using IBL. Four groups of undergraduates (mean ages=23, N=60) took a ten-week physiology course using IBL. A content valid pretest and posttest measured content knowledge. A one-way ANOVA indicated no significant differences within or between groups on the pretest (F=.231) or between the groups on the posttest (F=.119). After collapsing the groups into pre and post, a paired Ttest indicated a significant difference between pretest and posttest scores T (32)= -7.61, P>.0001. The data clearly demonstrated significant content knowledge gains and higher than average student satisfaction.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Persistent Identifier


Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.