Pogil - Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning

2014 POGIL Regional Workshops

 Click on the links below for session descriptions and outcomes:

Introduction to POGIL: The Fundamentals

Introduction to POGIL: POGIL Labs

Writing POGIL Activities: How Are POGIL Activities Structured?

Writing POGIL Activities: Addressing Learning Objectives

Writing POGIL Activities: Developing Robust Models

Writing POGIL Activities: Author Coaching

Writing POGIL Activities: Advanced Writing

Assessing POGIL Activities: Providing and Receiving Quality Feedback

Classroom Facilitation: Implementing Activities

Classroom Facilitation: Improving Your Facilitation Skills

Classroom Facilitation: Using Polling in Whole Class Discussions

Classroom Facilitation: Effective Responses in the Classroom

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Asking Questions about Student Learning

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Assessment Strategies and Project Design

Disciplinary Discussion



Click on the link below for a Regional Workshop sample agenda:

2014 Sample Agenda



Introduction to POGIL: The Fundamentals

This session is designed for those with limited or no previous exposure to POGIL. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in POGIL activities, observe facilitation strategies firsthand, learn about POGIL classroom implementation, and discuss common barriers to implementation.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • name essential elements of POGIL pedagogy and philosophy.
  • list student learning outcomes supported in a POGIL classroom.
  • create plans to begin implementation of POGIL in their own classrooms.

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Introduction to POGIL: POGIL Labs

This session will introduce the basic concepts and principles of the POGIL laboratory. Participants will experience a simulated POGIL laboratory experience and examine its components and structure. The criteria for a POGIL laboratory experiment will be introduced and applied to the written description of an experiment.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • articulate the components of a POGIL laboratory experiment and correlate them with the components of the Learning Cycle.
  • describe several differences between a POGIL laboratory experiment and a traditional laboratory experiment.
  • determine the extent to which an experiment meets the POGIL laboratory criteria.

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Writing POGIL Activities: How Are POGIL Activities Structured?

This session is an introduction to the essential characteristics and structure of high-quality POGIL activities. After completing this session, participants will be prepared to attend intermediate-level sessions on writing activities.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • identify the basic components of a POGIL activity, such as a model and critical thinking questions.
  • classify questions in an activity according to the following types: directed, convergent, or divergent.
  • classify questions in a learning cycle activity according to the following types: exploration, concept invention/term introduction, or application.
  • use both the Learning Cycle and question types to critically analyze activity structure and guide construction of quality POGIL activities.

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Writing POGIL Activities: Addressing Learning Objectives

In this session, participants will examine the value of developing content and process objectives for POGIL activities, and create a draft or outline of an activity based on these learning objectives.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • work backwards from an assessment question to develop a quality learning objective statement.
  • write a process objective for a POGIL activity and identify techniques that can facilitate development of process skills in the classroom.
  • write, or begin to write, a POGIL activity focused on specific learning objectives.

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Writing POGIL Activities: Developing Robust Models


In this session, participants will examine the features common to models that are suitably robust for use in POGIL activities, and gain practice developing a robust model that could be used in a POGIL activity in the participant’s classroom.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • identify features common to robust models.
  • create a model that is suitably robust for use in a POGIL activity.

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Writing POGIL Activities: Author Coaching

During the Author Coaching sessions, participants will be able to work on writing activities in whatever fashion is most helpful to them. A room or working area will be made available for participants to work individually on writing POGIL activities. At least one writing consultant, or “coach,” will be available for consultations. These consultants will guide participants in assessing their own activities and provide suggestions for improvement.   If there are participants who have progressed to advanced stages of authoring, the consultant may introduce (individually or in small groups):

  • the content and process rubrics that are available to be used to assess the quality of a POGIL activity.
  • the procedure by which authors may submit activities to The POGIL Project for feedback.
  • the author submission forms, and the procedure by which authors may submit a collection of activities for endorsement by The POGIL Project.

After attending this session, both new and experienced participants will have time to write their own activities and actively participate in discussions about these activities with writing coaches or other authors, if they choose.

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Writing POGIL Activities: Advanced Writing

In this session participants will review the learning cycle, the qualities of good learning objectives, and the characteristics of a robust model. Ample time will be given to begin writing an activity, including a structured brainstorming session for participants to share ideas for activities.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • write a set of content and process learning objectives for a POGIL activity.
  • develop a robust model for a POGIL activity.
  • categorize questions in a POGIL activity according to the learning cycle.
  • use the author scaffold to outline a POGIL activity they would like to write.

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Assessing POGIL Activities: Providing and Receiving Quality Feedback

In this session, participants will learn how to use the content and process rubrics to assess POGIL activities for the purposes of author feedback and/or endorsement. Participants will review submitted activities, compare their reviews with others, and work to achieve consensus on how to effectively use the rubrics to assist in giving quality feedback to authors. Participants will also learn about the POGIL collection endorsement process and how it differs from the author feedback process. This workshop is suggested for authors who would like to improve in writing and assessing their own activities, as well as for those who may be willing to assist The POGIL Project by providing feedback to other authors.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • complete a set of rubrics to assess one or more POGIL activities.
  • provide high-quality and consistent feedback to authors about their activities.
  • explain the use of materials associated with activity submission.

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Classroom Facilitation: Implementing Activities


There is no single way to implement POGIL -- each time there are unique characteristics that can influence how particular goals are achieved. Facilitating a POGIL classroom effectively involves more than student groups and collaborative activities; it requires careful planning and effective classroom management through reflective facilitation techniques. This workshop is designed to provide participants with an introduction to facilitating POGIL activities. Through this experience, participants will reflect on how facilitation can enhance or interfere with student learning, as well as how facilitation strategies can be critical in the development of student process skills.

 After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • name different components of classroom facilitation.
  • explain how the actions of the instructor can promote or inhibit development of student process skills.
  • propose facilitation strategies for classroom use.

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Classroom Facilitation: Improving Your Facilitation Skills

This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to improve their facilitation skills through facilitating, observing, and/or reflecting on the student experience in a POGIL classroom. In this session, a sub-set of participants will each facilitate an activity of their choice.  All participants will have the opportunity to serve as an observer and a student during the session. 


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • identify how different facilitation strategies impact the effectiveness of implementing POGIL activities.
  • describe how different perspectives of a classroom (i.e. student, observer, and facilitator) provide different insights into the learning process.
  • explain successful facilitation techniques based on hands-on observation.

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Classroom Facilitation: Using Polling in Whole Class Discussions

One of the key challenges of facilitating any POGIL classroom involves controlling the pace of student group work and checking for student understanding. This is much more than getting students to finish the activity in the allotted time since control of pacing and monitoring student development of concepts can greatly enhance instructor effectiveness. The use of polling questions, especially in conjunction with electronic response devices (clickers), can be very effective for improving facilitation. While polling can enhance any POGIL classroom, it is especially useful when managing a large classroom. This session also addresses various alternatives to electronic polling.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • distinguish between the functions of small group and whole class discussions.
  • name ways to control the pace of student work through the use of student polling techniques.
  • check for student understanding through the use of student polling techniques.
  • effectively guide whole class discussions based on different distributions of responses to polling questions.

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Classroom Facilitation:  Effective Responses in the Classroom

Effective facilitation requires attention to what is going on in the classroom as well as a set of strategies one can use to respond to a variety of classroom situations.  This workshop will help participants consider various situations that can impact effectiveness of responses within the classroom, including: disparities in student pacing, dysfunctional student dynamics, and other barriers to student learning in the classroom.   

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • identify constructive facilitation strategies to ensure the classroom provides an effective learning environment for students.
  • explain facilitation practices that are useful when responding to specific disparities and barriers in a POGIL classroom. 

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SoTL:  Asking Questions about Student Learning

This session is designed to provide a broad overview of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and why one might want to engage in SoTL work.  Its focus is on understanding the larger frameworks for the scholarship of teaching and learning and getting started by articulating a scholarly SoTL question.  

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • develop a working definition of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
  • articulate a SoTL question that can be addressed in one's classroom.
  • identify the basic components of a SoTL project and resources that can be used to move a project forward.


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SoTL: Assessment Strategies and Project Design

This session builds upon the introductory 'Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:  Asking Questions about Student Learning' workshop by focusing on assessment strategies that can be used as part of SoTL projects. Participants will explore a variety of ways student learning data can be collected for SoTL work, as well as the ways in which SoTL projects are scheduled and organized. In addition, each participant will consider the development of an individual SoTL project. It is assumed that participants will come to this workshop with a basic idea for a SoTL question in mind.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • name different ways in which evidence of student learning can be collected for SoTL projects.
  • list the logistical steps that must be taken to execute a SoTL project.
  • create a plan for starting a SoTL project.

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Disciplinary Discussion

This session provides an opportunity to discuss questions of common interest and network with fellow participants. Important insights will be captured for sue by The POGIL Project to facilitate further discussion, networking, and possible future action.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • articulate the ways the session was productive and useful for themselves or others.
  • identify at least one other person with whom they would like to have further discussions related to teaching and learning.
  • generate a report of each session, listing the topics of interest and suggestions for follow-up as indicated by the participants.

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Sample Agendas

Sample agendas for regional workshops are posted below.  Please keep in mind that these agendas are SAMPLES and will vary somewhat in content and structure from region to region.  It is posted here to give you an idea of the general makeup of a Regional Workshop.