Incorporating Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) into your teaching

Kendra Walther, Associate Professor of Technology Practice in USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, discusses “POGIL”, a group instructional strategy grounded in research about how students learn.

Professor Walther was the 2020 Viterbi Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching and Education recipient, and a member of the 2019-2020 CET Faculty Fellows Leadership cohort.

Watch this 2-minute video and scroll down for the full interview, plus tips for implementing this in your course!

Read more about this approach in Kendra’s own words:

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Interested in getting started with POGIL or other inquiry-based teaching strategies in your course?

Here are some tips for implementation:

Here is an example of a POGIL activity, which consists of a detailed activity description, prompts for students, instructions on when to check in with the instructor, and an instructor answer key. You might start by modeling an example POGIL activity with the whole class:

  1. Look through and select from this list of POGIL curricular materials in various disciplines.
  2. Introduce the activity.
  3. Put students into working groups (with assigned roles).
  4. Share the POGIL activity worksheet with students (if applicable).
  5. Monitor the student groups and answer questions that come up during the activity.
  6. Collect each group’s work for a graded activity.

More resources:

What does the research say?

Vincent-Ruz, P., Meyer, T., Roe, S. G., & Schunn, C. D. (2020). Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of POGIL in a Large-Enrollment General Chemistry Course. Journal of Chemical Education, 97(5), 1228–1238. (USC Libraries link).

Howley, I. (2020). Adapting guided inquiry learning worksheets for emergency remote learning. Information and Learning Science, 121(7/8), 549–557. (USC Libraries link)

Rodriguez, J.-M. G., Hunter, K. H., Scharlott, L. J., & Becker, N. M. (2020). A Review of Research on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning: Implications for Research and Practice. Journal of Chemical Education, 97(10), 3506–3520. (USC Libraries link)

Kori, K. (2021). Inquiry-Based Learning in Higher Education. In: Vaz de Carvalho, C., Bauters, M. (eds) Technology Supported Active Learning. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology. Springer, Singapore. (USC Libraries link)


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