Information Literacy models and Inquiry Learning models have been
designed around the concept of pupil driven learning. Students were
given a broad topic and then expected to choose some aspect of interest
for researching. A problem with this approach is that students with
little or no prior knowledge in the broad topic often had great
difficulty in deciding on an aspect to research. It was like standing on
a beach, looking at the sea, and trying to decide what might of interest
when one didn't have a clue what was out there.
were then designed to include an immersion stage that allowed students
time for some general exploration so they could become familiar with
broad aspects of the topic and would then have some basis for making
choices in terms of what they want to pursue in their own inquiry. This
enabled the students to get immersed in the topic, see what some of the
options are and thus have some foundation on which to make their choice.
In these models immersion was an explicit part of the process.
A growing number of models have dropped the immersion stage because
those models now have a different approach. Many of these newer models
supply the students a task or problem that requires the development of a
solution. These models don't need an immersion stage because as soon as
the student creates one question to research about the problem, issue or
need they have started a journey which will immerse them in the subject.
Immersion is actually an implicit, rather than an explicit part of the
For both approaches immersion happens, either as an explicit or
implicit part of the process.