Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
How and why might I balance inquiry and advocacy?

Inquiry is a method of acquiring information, data, and ideas from another person. Advocacy is speaking in favor of or defending. All too often people on teams will practice advocacy, working to convince others on their team to share their points of view. Referring back to our model, when the sender is not thoughtful of the context (adapting your presentation to the audience), then the message can be lost in “trying to convince others of your viewpoint.”

Inquiry is a far more effective strategy for teams, particularly in the early stages of a project or assignment. With inquiry, team members are focusing on the content and ideas that the sender is sharing rather than working to determine if the sender is right or wrong or if the sender has a good idea or a bad idea. Inquiry allows a group to solve problems creatively and provides the forum for developing collaborative ideas.

Inquiry Example When a team member presents a conclusion, other team members might ask “What leads you to conclude that?” “What data have you used to arrive at your conclusion?” “What causes you to say that?” [Protocols for balancing advocacy and inquiry7]

Advocacy can be beneficial later in the communication process when the team is ready to determine the best method of intervention for their assigned goal. Initially, utilizing inquiry is useful for individuals on a team. When using inquiry, the receiver can use his/her energy for attention and comprehension instead of for defense.

Advocacy Example When making a proposal, provide examples of your idea, even if these are hypothetical or metaphorical. For example, “To get a clearer picture of what I’m talking about, imagine that you’re the person who will be using our design.” [Protocols for balancing advocacy and inquiry7]

Team Activity Ask each team to review other protocols for balancing advocacy and inquiry on pages 255–259 of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook.7 Ask each team to describe one protocol that might be useful in their team meetings.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

References for Further Information

  1. Gagne, R .M., L.J. Bridges, and W. W. Wagne. 1998. Principles of Instructional Design. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
  2. Hanson, G., and B. Price. 1992. Academic Program Review. In: M. A. Wjitley, J. D. Porter, and R. H. Fenske (eds.). The Primer for Institutional Research. Tallahassee: Association for Institutional Research.
  3. Satterly, D. 1989. Assessment in schools. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Related Links:









Partner Links