When selecting and/or writing POGIL activities, an initial step is to think about why the activity is being used. A POGIL activity is designed to guide students as they construct a deep understanding of a concept and, at the same time, to help them develop process skills. A POGIL activity is appropriate for the following:
• A new and important concept, particularly a threshold concept (Meyer & Land, 2003) that students often struggle with, but must master to continue with the subject.
• A concept in which students are likely to be confused of struggle due to inexperience, lack of knowledge, or misconceptions.
• The start of a new unit or topic to orient students to new ideas, problems, or approaches.
Instructors should also recognize when not to use POGIL activities. Each activity is designed to be used by a team of students with active facilitation by an instructor. Thus, activities should not be assigned as homework or used without facilitation. In addition, POGIL activities may not be the best tool for reviewing concepts with which students are already familiar.