Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) Communities are local, regional groups of college math instructors interested in using and disseminating IBL. Local IBL Community (IBLC) organizations are new, and developing. This Network of IBLCs project brings together the leadership teams of multiple communities under one loose structure.
IBL is a form of active learning in which students are given a carefully scaffolded sequence of mathematical tasks and are asked to solve and make sense of them, working individually and in groups. Many varieties of IBL exist under one “big tent.” While courses may look different, they all rely on the core principles of (1) deep student engagement with coherent and meaningful mathematical tasks, (2) opportunities for students to collaboratively process mathematical ideas with peers, (3) opportunities for instructors to inquire into student thinking, and (4) ability for instructors to foster equity in their design and facilitation choices. Following these core principles, IBL courses enhance student learning by providing opportunities to learn the process of understanding and presenting math rather than simply watching someone else do it.
The overarching goal of the NSF-sponsored project is to provide targeted support to nurture the growth of the regional IBLCs represented on the project leadership team and to investigate the impact of these communities in each region, with the intent of elucidating which community-building strategies are most effective in supporting faculty to adopt, sustain, and promote the use of IBL in undergraduate mathematics education. In the future we aim to expand beyond these initial IBLCs and share expertise with regions wishing to establish their own.
An IBL Community (IBLC) is a community of transformation of university faculty, who share a common practice of teaching mathematics and using Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) methods. These communities aim to provide evidence-based support mechanisms, through professional development, mentoring, and collaborations, to help members transform their teaching.
Though our NSF-sponsored project focuses on four regions to start, we will be inviting more regional communities to join our network in the future. The following four communities are supported by this project.
For a list of all established IBL Communities, see the list on the AIBL website
The project team has received an NSF grant (NSF-DUE #1925188) to support and study four regional IBL Communities.
By supporting the growth and sustainability of regional IBL Communities—and broadening participation in those communities among faculty from underrepresented groups—the IBL Communities project will help promote the use of IBL strategies in undergraduate mathematics classrooms across the country.
The following are events of interest to those in the regions that are currently part of our network. If you have events that should be of interest to one of our regions, please contact a member of our project leadership team from that region. In future years we aim to grow our network beyond those four directly supported by our initial NSF-sponsored project.
Call for Proposals
We are happy to announce mini-grant funding for those in our four supported regional IBL Communities. These mini-grants come in two flavors: (1) Travel Mini-grants to regional IBL events, and (2) Peer Collaboration Mini-grants for projects such as classroom visits, course collaborations, professional learning communities, or other collaborative projects which have the potential to stimulate or expand IBL across our region. The default grant amount is $250 per collaborator, but larger amounts will be considered. Note that funds will be disbursed as grants, rather than reimbursements, to minimize paperwork.
We invite college math instructors of mathematics, statistics, or other related quantitative courses in the following regions to apply.
- IBL Greater Iowa-Nebraska Community (IBLINC)
- MD-DC-VA IBL Consortium
- Michigan IBL Consortium (including nearby states)
- New England IBL in Mathematics Consortium (NE-IBLM).
For full details on Peer Collaboration Mini-grants and Travel Mini-grants, and for an application form, see our Request for Proposals: https://tinyurl.com/IBLC-MG-RFP.
Funded proposals may be contacted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, which is processing funding paperwork. Questions about regional events and funding decisions should be directed to your regional leadership team.
affiliated ibl groups
The following groups are actively collaborating with our Network of IBL Communities project in providing resources for our workshops. If you're interested in establishing a collaboration with us, please contact IBLCommunities@gmail.com.
Learn More about iblC
Interested in finding out more about the inner workings of an IBL Community? Take a look at our article about the first IBL Community. Want to create a regional community in your area? Join us at one of the Community Building workshops, which are part of the Academy of IBL's travelling workshop series.