Meaningful Inquiry

University Libraries and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

In this evidence-based endorsement, participants will learn about persistent racial and social class equity gaps in higher education and consider the ways in which a common practice – the research assignment – may contribute to those gaps. Using an equity framework, participants will learn practical strategies for designing meaningful and equitable research assignments and transparently communicating expectations for performance. Topics to be covered include information literacy, Decoding the Disciplines, Transparency in Learning & Teaching (TILT), student motivation to learn, and asset-based pedagogies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this endorsement, participants should be able to:

  • to describe the potential relationships, both positive and negative, between racial and social class equity gaps, student performance/success, and inquiry-based (research) assignments.    
  • to describe the information literacy threshold concepts, as well as the behaviors and mindsets related to information literacy.    
  • to apply the Decoding the Disciplines and Transparency in Learning & Teaching (TILT) to their teaching, including course and assignment design, with the goal of creating inclusive and equitable learning environments and enhancing student learning.    
  • to identify practical ways in which instructors can design equitable inquiry-based assignments to increase students’ motivation to learn and academic engagement.
Participation Requirements

Participants must register for and complete the Meaningful Inquiry workshop, which is offered 2-3 times a year. The in-person workshop is 2.5 days (15 hours total), and the virtual workshop is mostly asynchronous but has a required synchronous group discussion component (5 hours total).

The modules consist of content related to the learning outcomes, as well as multiple activities that require participants to apply or reflect upon what they are learning. There are homework assignments after each module, in which participants will apply or reflect on what they have learned or ask them to consider questions related to what they will be learning in the next module. The fifth and final module includes a structured activity designed to help participants work through how they could implement what they have learned in their course(s), as well as time to share their progress with their peers.

For more information on this program, please contact Amanda Folk at



The final teaching endorsement application will require you to upload a completion of criteria certificate obtained from University Libraries.

Required Hours