how |How to use the Inquiry/Research Quiz (IRQ)

You can use the IRQ in a variety of ways, depending on where you determine points of need are in terms of providing scaffolded support for discipline-based inquiry/research activities and assessment tasks.

In semester one, 2011 the IRQ was implemented in eight first year subjects across all five faculties. In each subject a different approach to embedding the IRQ was adopted to suit the context of the subject.

IRQ implementation approaches - Semester 1, 2011
Subject code Implementation approach
HLT1IPA Strongly encouraged
Students also do assessed information literacy quiz in week 4.
ORH1OHA (BEN) Week 1 activity - compulsory hurdle
MGT1FOM Week 1 - 2 activity - hurdle (80% correct). 3 attempts. Less than 80% first attempt students directed to online modules. Less than 30% correct first attempt students directed to bridgeworks program/library f-2-f sessions.
MGT2MCB (AW) Voluntary
EDU1CW (BEN) Week 1 - 3 activity
Inquiry/Research skills are assessed in Stage 2 of the PWP assignment according to student ability to find and use credible academic research.
SOC1SAC Week 1 - 3 activity - strongly encouraged
BIO1OF Week 1 activity - strongly encouraged.
Essay preparation task in week 7 - recommended starting points for task are IRQ and LibSkills modules.
PSY1EFP Week 2 activity - mandatory tutorial activity, done in groups of 2 so questions/answers/feedback can be discussed in small group and larger group.

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how |How to use LibSkills

LibSkills modules consist of textual information, interactive demos and learning activities. You can use LibSkills in a number of ways.

  1. IRQ - LibSkills modules are linked in the IRQ feedback. Students are directed to a module related to their correct or incorrect answer choice. For example a quiz question about ‘recognising references’ first provides video feedback, then links to the LibSkills module ‘finding items on a reading list’ is presented. Students can find out more about what a citation is, how to recognise different sources and find them.
  2. Point of Need - Specific LibSkills modules or the whole set of 11 can be embedded in subject guides at point of need. For example within an assessment task, students may have to use at least 2 scholarly journal articles & cite in a particular style. You can insert direct links to the modules “Finding journal articles” & “Referencing your sources”.
  3. Anytime Anywhere - As the LibSkills modules are easily accessible via the library’s website 24/7, students can return to them anytime. To help build and reinforce their skills as they progress through their study, you can remind students to return as needed to specific modules.

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how |Examples of practice

Faculty of Education

EDU1CW Concepts of Wellbeing

Dr Zali Yager - Inquiry research in Concepts of Wellbeing

Concepts of Wellbeing is a core subject for first year students in the Faculty of Education. This subject is delivered in the first semester of the first year of study for all primary and secondary Bachelor of Education students (approximate enrolment ~ 350 students each year). In Concepts of Wellbeing, one of the aims of the subject was to develop student’s skills in the graduate capability of Inquiry/Research. The Inquiry/Research Quiz and associated LibSkills modules as well as some face-to-face learning activities contributed to the direct and explicit teaching of these skills. Students then practiced and demonstrated their skills in their assessment, and were given formal feedback on whether they met the cornerstone standards for Inquiry/Research.

In order to assess Inquiry/Research, I used the Information Literacy Framework which includes ILOs for each of the six standards at the cornerstone, midpoint and capstone level. I converted the Framework into a rubric and used it to assess students’ inquiry/research skills at the cornerstone level as demonstrated in their assignments.

The following provides an overview of the processes used to embed Inquiry/Research into a first semester first year subject in the Faculty of Education in 2011.

Faculty of Health Sciences

HLT1IPA Inter-professional Practice A

This is a core first year subject for most of the undergraduate courses in health and human services across the five campuses. Inquiry/Research is one of the graduate capabilities mapped within this subject (as part of the academic skills learning outcomes).


The IRQ was to be completed between weeks 1-3 and was voluntary but strongly encouraged as a way to both help students recognise what they might already know, and to alert them to what academic information skills they will need. Students could do the quiz as many times as they liked, allowing the students to learn in-between attempts. Although the IRQ score did not count towards their assessment, the grade of their final attempt was recorded in the LMS gradebook.


Students were referred to the LibSkills modules as part of the IRQ and topics in the IRQ & LibSkills were reinforced in discipline-specific modules & tasks to follow.

Practise in discipline - Discipline-specific modules (weeks 2-7):

Health Sciences Information Literacy Modules were set as workshop preparation activities to align with particular stages of Inquiry / Research development.

Example 1: 'Finding items on a resource list' and 'Referencing with APA' were allocated as workshop preparation when students were required to find two references from a reading list for an annotated bibliography and put them in APA style. It was ensured a range of resource types (journal articles, book chapters, government reports) were represented on the reading list.

Example 2: 'Finding journal articles, including peer-reviewed' and 'Planning your search' were allocated as workshop preparation when students were planning their essay.

Workshop Activity (week 10):

Students report and discuss with their team, their experience of searching for two relevant scholarly and credible resources for the team case. Report on:

  • How you located the resource you have reviewed (i.e. what was your search strategy?)
  • The type of resource it is (e.g. journal articles, book chapters, etc).
  • The main points or items of information in the resource and how these relate to your enquiry.
  • The credibility of the resource
Assessment Quiz 10% (week 11):

Information Literacy Online Test worth 10% of the subject, held in week eleven and based on 'Health Sciences Information Literacy Modules'. Students were allowed 30 minutes with one attempt.

ORH1OHA Oral Health A

Dr Jeremy Graham - Inquiry research in Oral Health A

The first year oral health/dentistry students complete a compulsory core subject in first semester called Oral Health A. This subject introduces an understanding of the anatomy of human teeth, and basic head and neck anatomy. This subject is taught at the Bendigo campus only, with an enrolment of 76 students.


The lecturer for the subject (also the first-year coordinator) elected to implement the Inquiry/Research quiz in week one of semester one. It was a compulsory hurdle* for all students with one attempt permitted. This allowed for the quiz to reflect a true benchmark of students’ abilities, and a starting point for future activities.

*NOTE: 'Hurdle requirement' means a compulsory aspect or component of the assessment in a subject that must be complied with in order that a student may be eligible to receive a 'pass' grade. The hurdle requirement for this subject is successful completion of practical assessments and mid-year assignment.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ.

Practise in discipline

The quiz was followed up with three compulsory discipline specific information literacy workshops held in the Library, and another two assessment quizzes. The 2011 program was scheduled in five stages:

  • Orientation Week - Indicator Tool
    Students complete online Indicator Tool prior to commencement of classes. (task 1)
  • Week 1 - Basic search techniques and catalogue searching
    First class conducted which focuses on the Library website, effective use of the catalogue, and understanding reading lists. Supporting class notes are loaded onto Moodle, with an online quiz to be completed within two weeks. (task 2)
  • Week 2 - Database and advanced searching
    Second class conducted which shows search strategies, keyword searching, database use, checking for peer-review, referencing tips and credibility of sources. Supporting class notes are loaded onto Moodle, and online quiz to be completed within two weeks. (task 3)
  • Week 3 - Use of Endnote (Bibliographic referencing tool)
    Endnote class delivered with comprehensive handouts provided.
  • After close of quizzes
    In the weeks following the closure of the quiz, the Faculty Librarian consults with the lecturer (who is also the first year coordinator) to review the results, suggest which students would benefit from improvement, and provide feedback for improvements for the following year.
Impact on student learning

The use of pertinent books and articles, and appropriate acknowledgement of sources in the completion of the first assignment for this subject has been the final judge of the success of the program. The first-year coordinator thoroughly checks these elements and provides feedback on the application of skills learned.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

SOC1SAC Introduction to Sociology

This is a core subject at first year level for a sociology major. In this subject students are introduced to the study of contemporary society, how and why we live the way we do in the world today. Students explore the distinctiveness of a sociological way of viewing the world through the diverse theories and methods of investigation that sociology commonly uses. This is followed by an examination of the changing nature of modern society focusing on issues including social inequality, cultural diversity and climate change. 769 students study this subject across five campuses.


Students were strongly encouraged to complete the Inquiry Research Quiz as an activity to be completed within the first three weeks of semester.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ

Practise in Discipline

The first assignment was a reflective essay and required two scholarly references. Students were referred back to the Quiz and modules while they were working through this assignment.

Faculty of Law and Management

MGT1FOM Foundations of Management

Jeannie Daniels - Inquiry research in Foundations of Management

This is a first year subject and provides an introduction to the management of organizations. it aims to provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts and relevant issues relating to management in the modern business environment, with a particular emphasis placed upon Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. The relationship between management practices and organisational performance will be explored within the context of both individual and organisational outcomes. This subject has 1428 enrolled students and is taught across all campuses.


This was conducted as a hurdle activity during weeks 1-2, requiring 80% pass after three attempts. With a score of less than 80%, students were directed to the LibSkills modules. Less than 30% correct on the first attempt, students were directed to the Bridgeworks program for face to face Library sessions.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ.


This is a first year subject that covers the importance of communication both within and outside the organisation from a management perspective. In this subject students examine how managers communicate with individuals and groups, and their need for significant oral and written skills. Topics include effective communication, intercultural communication conflict resolution and, negotiation, gaining and imparting information, and written communications, oral presentations. Practical skills are developed throughout the course. This subject is taught to 64 students at Albury/Wodonga and Mildura.


Students at Albury/Wodonga were strongly encouraged to voluntarily complete the Inquiry Research Quiz as an activity within the first week of semester prior to a follow-up information training session with the Faculty Librarian.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ.

Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

PSY1EFP Experimental Foundations of Psychological Science

Melanie Murphy - Inquiry research in Experimental Foundations of Psychological Science

In this subject students explore a number of core experimental approaches and findings in psychology which will orient them to the science of the discipline. This subject will focus on how the brain works in creating behaviour, how the brain and behaviour change across the lifespan, how and why people differ, how people sense the world, process and understand the information that arises. 1,005 students study this subject across five campuses.


The Inquiry Research Quiz was introduced as a week two activity in the student’s tutorial. This was a mandatory tutorial activity, carried out in groups of two. This enabled questions, answers and feedback to be discussed in smaller groups and across the larger group if required.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ

BIO1OF Organisation and Function of Cells and Organisms

This is a first year core biology subject that covers the fundamentals of living things. In this subject topics include the structure and function of cells and organisms, and aspects of the functioning of the cells of bacteria, plants and animals. 760 students study this subject from the Bundoora and Albury/Wodonga campuses.


Students were strongly encouraged to complete the Inquiry Research Quiz as an activity to be completed within the first week of semester.


Students were referred to LibSkills as part of the IRQ

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