Pogil - Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning

Computer Science POGIL

This project will develop, refine, validate, and disseminate two sets of process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) materials in computer science (CS), specifically for software engineering (SE) and data structures & algorithms (DS&A).  Initially, materials will involve paper and presentation software, but the project will extend them to use laptop or tablet computers, and investigate the potential of web-based tools.  Free and open source software (FOSS) will be used where possible, to make it easier to enhance or adapt the tools and to reduce the cost of adoption.  These materials will be used to raise the awareness of POGIL and related techniques among CS and SE educators, with the goal of creating a community within CS and SE that can continue to develop and refine POGIL materials.


The project will contain three threads of work. 

  1. Thread A will develop approx. 10 POGIL activities for SE topics, including project management and the unified modeling language (UML).  Paper versions  of these activities will be developed and piloted before the project begins; the project will extend and enhance these activities using laptop of tablet computers.
  2. Thread B will develop approx. 10 POGIL activities for DS&A topics, including basic data structures, searching and sorting.
  3. Thread C will investigate the potential to create supporting structures using web-based tools, such as wikis or course management systems, to help scale activities to larger courses and a broader community.


Each set of materials will evolve through four stages.  

  1. First, the project team will create initial versions of the materials and test them with students and assess the results qualitatively, by interviewing students before, during, and after the course.
  2. Second, the team will show the materials through conference presentations and workshops, to obtain broader feedback and to recruit other faculty into the project.
  3. Third, the team will refine the materials in response to feedback, and assess them quantitatively with other faculty.  
  4. Fourth, the team will push the materials and the POGIL approach to a broader community through workshops designed to help other faculty develop their own POGIL materials.

Project Web Site
  http://cspogil.org

Principal Investigator
  Clif Kussmaul (Muhlenberg College)

Collaborators
  Dan Libby (Moravian College)
  Helen Hu (Westminster College)
  Matt Lang (Moravian College)
  Tammy Pirmann (Springfield Township High School)