A computerized learning environment (Flexible Inquiry Learning Environment; FILE) is discussed. FILE allows researchers in inquiry learning to design, administer, and analyze learning tasks in which content domain and task complexity can be configured independently, while other factors (e.g., the interface) are held constant. This allows for more valid across-task generalizations. FILE is based on a descriptive model of inquiry learning and its monitoring facilities allow for the extraction of learning indicators derived from the model. Furthermore, FILE is suitable from the age of eight years, which allows developmental issues in inquiry learning to be addressed. It is concluded that FILE can be used to set up studies in inquiry learning in an efficient way, saving expensive programming time. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.