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IS-21 provides a dynamic and interactive introduction to the three-phase Inquiry Process, enabling students to organize, evaluate, and synthesize the wealth of information available today, and then to creatively communicate it to others. Students are also able to link their work to ePearl, an electronic portfolio designed to encourage self-regulated learning. 

  1. Start: Establish task and understanding of task
  2. Define: Determine big question
  3. Brainstorm: Identify what is known, what isn't known (little questions), and what doesn't need to be known
  4. Keywords: Extract key concepts from each question
  5. Search Strings: Establish relationships between keywords and related words
  6. Resources: Review what type of information is needed to answer each question


Purpose: Students must start the inquiry process by defining their topic. Here they are asked to write out the assigned task and to describe in their own words their understanding of this task.


  1. Explore: Investigate and decide on appropriate sources (focus on web only for this prototype)
  2. Select: Conduct searches and mark potentially useful web sites (create working bibliography)
  3. Review: Read sources and evaluate the quality and relevance of each (refine working bibliography)

  1. Note taking (or note making): Read each source for understanding and document information
  2. Synthesize: Interpret information, organize ideas using visual organizers, and form conclusions
  3. Acknowledge: Establish final list of sources to be used in the final product (bibliography)
  4. Produce: Create the final product

Works are referred to as artifacts in ePEARL. IS-21 tasks are listed separately from other ePEARL artifacts so they are quickly identifiable. As a teacher, you may click on a title to display an IS-21 work. If a student uses certain ePEARL features (Task descriptionTask goalsStrategiesor Reflections), these will be displayed along with the Report icon.

Providing Feedback

Active feedback boxes will be available for Goals, Reflections, for the work itself or for the entire portfolio.

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