Creative Guide to Inquiry-Based Questions

Inquiry-based learning is an instructional style that centers learning on solving a specific problem or answering a central question. It generally includes interacting, clarifying, questioning, and designing. 

Inquiry based questions engage students in meaningful and student-centered learning experiences. Students who ask thoughtful questions advance beyond superficial learning. 

When students ask insightful questions during inquiry-based learning activities, they get to the core of the issues or concepts that matter most to them. But what inquiry based questionsshould you ask? This article highlights some examples of inquiry-based questions.

What Is Inquiry-Based Learning?

An unconventional approach to learning, inquiry-based learning encourages students’ active engagement by having them ask questions. The foundation of this approach is to direct students’ mental processes through questions.​

Inquiry-based learning keeps students interested in their learning by creating real-life connections through exploration and questioning. It is a method of instruction that promotes students’ participation in experiential learning and problem-solving. 

Inquiry-based teaching catapults students from general curiosity to the realms of critical thinking and comprehension. In this type of learning, students are actively involved and given a chance to explore their inborn interests.

Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning

1. Strengthens Problem-Solving Techniques

Students who use inquiry-based learning are better able to solve problems. They’re compelled to think creatively and develop solutions when given a chance to investigate real-world issues. 

2. Promotes Critical Thinking

Inquiry-based learning encourages students to utilize their critical thinking skills. They challenge the information they’re given and come up with solutions. Students that engage in this kind of learning are better able to think critically and solve problems.

3. Connects Learning to the Real World

The use of inquiry-based learning facilitates a connection with the real world. Students can better understand the relevance of classroom studies when they are free to investigate issues that arise in the real world. 

4. Promotes Originality

This type of learning fosters creativity. Students frequently come up with innovative solutions when given a chance to investigate a topic independently. This is because any one way of thinking does not constrain them.

5. Enhances Communication Techniques

Inquiry-based learning helps students in developing their communication abilities. Students frequently have to communicate their ideas and thoughts to others when working on a problem. They acquire valuable interpersonal communication skills as a result.

What Are Inquiry-Based Questions?

Inquiry-based questions are questions students ask about subjects that interest them and pique their curiosity. 

Inquiry-based questions help students activate their curiosity, use critical thinking skills, and reflect on their learning. However, inquiry-based learning can only be effective if the questions asked are significant to the subject and help students advance beyond surface-level knowledge.

Inquiry-based questions are perfect as they help students demonstrate logical thinking. They also provide learning opportunities by posing unexpected challenges. Such questions require a response beyond “Yes” or “No.” 

Students are motivated to expand and use their knowledge and skills in innovative ways that show the relevance of the learning outcome. Inquiry-based questions necessitate a critical or attentive review of various text(s), promoting communication and participation among students. In addition to supporting claims and logic, it challenges students to think beyond what they receive in class.

Creative Inquiry Based Questions

Inquiry questions typically include a structure that precludes the solution from being inferred from the question, which encourages critical thinking. Here are some inquiry-based questions to consider.

Research Inquiry-Based Questions

  • What information about this subject do I seek?
  • What do I want to know?
  • How do I understand it?
  • Who is responsible for this info?
  • What resources might help?
  • Where do I find them?
  • How do I know the information is valid?
  • What other info is there?
  • Does my research create new questions?
  • What is the definition of this term or concept? 

Clarifying Inquiry-Based Questions

  • Can you explain more about that?
  • Tell me more about…
  • Did I hear you say…?
  • What criteria did you use…?
  • Can you give me an example…?
  • What resources did you collect…?
  • Tell me what you mean when you said… 
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash


Inquiry-based questions force people to think critically. Creativity and an open-minded and curious disposition will lead to potentially life-changing insights. The idea behind inquiry questions is to lead the reader or student to a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.

Typically employed in research contexts, an inquiry-based question can be connected to practically any subject area. Your knowledge from this article should help you frame better inquiry questions. 

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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