Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning

Content and Language Objectives

I will explore the use of the POGIL resource with student groups in the classroom by participating in group activities and discussions.

I will listen to understand important components of using POGIL with student groups and discuss with my group members to share ideas about how we can use the resource effectively in our classrooms.

What is POGIL?

POGIL is a student-centered strategy; students work in small groups with individual roles to ensure that all students are fully engaged in the learning process.


Pogil Web.mov

"...we learn through our interactions and communications with others." - Lev Vygotsky

A POGIL classroom or lab consists of any number of students working in small groups on specially designed guided inquiry materials. These materials supply students with data or information followed by leading questions designed to guide them toward formulation of their own valid conclusions.
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Remembering is a "joint product" of the interaction

Consider the example of the 6 year old child who has lost a toy, and who asks her father for help in finding it. Instead of beginning to look on her behalf, he starts to talk, to ask questions:

“The father asks where she last saw the toy: the child says I can’t remember’. He asks a series of questions - did you have it in your room? Outside? Nextdoor? To each question, the child answers ‘no’. When he says ‘in the car?’, she says, ‘I think so’ and goes to retrieve the toy.”

As Wertsch remarks: “In such cases one cannot answer the question ‘Who did the remembering?’ by pointing to one person or the other. The remembering is a ‘joint product’ of the interaction.

The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky,

James Wertsch et. al.

Plus/Deltas from our discussion

T-Chart - Thoughts on using POGIL in the classroom



how questions refer to the model

reference to models

worked as a group

assigned role cards

organized as an explore to create background knowledge for students

need more detail in models

crossing over image is left out

read this section may take some extra time

Roles are the Key to Success when using POGIL

This webinar linked here details the effective use of roles and ideas about how to implement them.

Student Roles

The use of student roles is a hallmark of the POGIL pedagogy and successful implementation of this learning strategy is dependent upon their use. Some practitioners believe roles are the real key to having a positive experience with POGIL. Particularly in the high school setting, because of the broad range of cognitive and social skill levels that exist within any given group of teenage students, it is essential to clearly define and provide instruction about the appropriate, pro-social behaviors associated with working in cooperative groups.
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Let's Role Play... Interpersonal Effectiveness Videos

The Interpersonal Effectiveness Videos are a collection of brief vignettes to help students develop the skills necessary to be successful in group work.

There are positive examples and negative example to show what the role is and what the role is not...

Choosing Student Groups

Create a group that fosters learning. They need to TRUST their group members to listen and question but not criticize the ideas that they have. They need all group members to PARTICIPATE so that the chances of a scientifically accurate idea being constructed is likely. Use the link below to go to the webinar on the importance of grouping.


Group Creation Methods

Teacher Selected

Pros - On task

Cons - Will take time to build trust

Heterogeneous Abilities

Pros - Speed of completion

Cons - Unequal Participation

Keep Groups Same for Period of Time

Pros - Build trust

Cons - Bad mix of students

Group Size

2-3 students per group

Pros - Classroom management

Cons - Slower completion and more sharing out

3-4 students per group

Pros - Students independence and faster completion

Cons - Students need self-management skills


Session Plan/Resources

Below is the "session plan" for how this session is designed as well as a list of resources that are used in the session and are not from the POGIL website.

Engage - Access teacher prior knowledge and understanding of group work using Socrative

Explore - POGIL Activity - Teachers will review the document and try some questions in the same way that students would complete the activity. Then teachers will discuss what they think about the design of the activity and record the highlights of that discussion on a plus/delta T-chart.

Explain - Teachers will share about how they think a POGIL activity works based on their exploration of the activity by sharing their T-chart thoughts. Trainer will share details about implementing the POGIL activities in the classroom.

Elaborate - Teachers will discuss how they can take the prescribed roles and customize them for their own classroom use based upon the needs of their students and their teaching style

Evaluate - Teachers will discuss how they plan to use POGIL activites in their classrooms and prepare to use one soon.