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Because many inquiry-based classes allow students to choose their own subjects of inquiry, a flexible system of assessing their work is required.
Learning contracts have become a common method for allowing this amount of autonomy for the learner, while at the same time ensuring that the topics chosen and the method of investigating them are appropriate.
Learning contracts should include:
Blank learning contract forms should be included in the syllabus, and it can be useful to make a few good models available to students since they may have never experienced contract learning before.
See the links below for examples of blank and model learning contracts.
The University of Maryland
Evergreen State College