team, and how they might improve in
the future. A homework assignment
might prompt students (individually,
in pairs, or in teams) to apply good coding style to their own code, or to an example provided by the instructor.
Research on POGIL in other disciplines (for example, Farrell3, Moog8)
generally finds that, compared to traditional approaches, student attrition
is lower, content mastery is greater,
and students have more positive attitudes. In one study, 13 on the first day of
Organic Chemistry II, students took an
unannounced quiz on content from Organic I. Students from the POGIL section of Organic I did dramatically better than those from the lecture section,
although the quiz was written by the
lecture instructor. There are fewer studies of POGIL in computer science, but
results are encouraging. After converting a CS1 course to POGIL, pass rates
increased for females but not males. 6 In
a software project course, POGIL activities helped students to understand the
importance of communication in real
software projects. 7 In a survey (
summarized in Figure 2), CS POGIL instructors
reported that students were more active and engaged, understood concepts
better, and were better at teamwork,
communication, and critical thinking. 5
Thus, POGIL can both improve student learning outcomes and develop
key skills. POGIL has been used across
STEM disciplines in secondary and
post-secondary settings. The POGIL
Project (see http://pogil.org) reviews
and endorses POGIL activities, and offers an extensive series of workshops
on classroom facilitation, activity authoring, and related topics. The U.S. National Science Foundation has funded
numerous projects to support POGIL,
including several focused on computing disciplines. To learn more about
POGIL activities for a range of computing topics, see http://cspogil.org.
1. Chi, M. T. H. and Wylie, R. The ICAP framework: Linking
cognitive engagement to active learning outcomes.
Educational Psychologist 49, 4 (Oct. 2014), 219–243.
2. Eberlein, T. et al. Pedagogies of engagement in
science: A comparison of PBL, POGIL, and PLTL.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 36, 4
(2008) 262–273. http://doi.org/10.1002/bmb.20204
3. Farrell, J.J. et al. A guided-inquiry general chemistry
course. Journal of Chemical Education 76, 4 (1999),
4. Hart Research Associates. Falling Short? College
Learning and Career Success. 2015.
5. Hu, H.H. et al. Results from a survey of faculty
adoption of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning
(POGIL) in Computer Science. In Proceedings of
the ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology
in Computer Science Education (I TiCSE) (Arequipa,
Peru, July 11–13, 2016) ACM. DOI: https://doi.
6. Hu, H. H. and Shepherd, T.D. Using POGIL to help
students learn to program. ACM Transactions on
Computing Education ( ToCE) 13, 3 (Aug. 2013),
7. Kumar, S. and Wallace. C. 2014. Instruction in
software project communication through guided
inquiry and reflection. In Proceedings of the IEEE
Frontiers in Eduucation (FIE) Conference (Madrid,
Spain, Oct. 22–25, 2014). ASEE/IEEE. DOI:https://doi.
8. Moog, R.S. et al. POGIL: Process oriented guided
inquiry learning. In Chemist’s Guide to Effective
Teaching: Vol II, N. J. Pienta, M. M. Cooper, and T. J.
Greenbowe (Eds.). Prentice Hall, 90–107.
9. Moog, R.S. and Spencer, J. N. POGIL: An overview.
In Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning: ACS
Symposium Series 994, R. S. Moog and J.N. Spencer,
Eds., American Chemical Society, 2008, 1–13.
10. NACE. Job Outlook 2018. National Association of
Colleges and Employers, Bethlehem, PA, 2018.
11. Simon, B. et al. Students as teachers and communicators.
In The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education
Research, S.A. Fincher and A.V. Robins, Eds. Cambridge
University Press, 2019, 827–858.
12. Simonson, S., Ed. POGIL: An Introduction to Process
Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning for Those Who Wish
to Empower Learners. Stylus Publishing, 2019.
13. Straumanis, A. and Simons, E.A. A multi-institutional
assessment of the use of POGIL in Organic Chemistry.
In Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL),
ACS Symposium Series 994, R. S. Moog and J.N. Spencer,
Eds., American Chemical Society, (2008), 226–239.
Clif Kussmaul ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is Principal
Consultant at Green Mango Associates, LLC, in
Bethlehem, PA, USA.
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ION S Figure 2. CS faculty (n= 26) perceptions of POGIL effectiveness. More engaged in class More active in learning Deeper understanding of concepts More effective in small groups
Positive peer-to-peer relationships
Stronger communication skills
Stronger critical thinking skills
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