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Implementation and Assessment of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Large-format Classrooms for Introduction to Materials

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Materials Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.898.1 - 26.898.10



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Paper Authors


Richard E Eitel Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Eitel is teaching associate professor in Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030;

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Implementation and Assessment of Process Oriented Guided InquiryLearning (POGIL) in Large Format Classrooms for Introduction to MaterialsThis study reports and evaluates the instructional effectiveness of process oriented guidedinquiry learning (POGIL) in an introductory level materials science course over the course offour semesters. Despite a general dissatisfaction with large format stand and deliver lecturing byinstructors and students alike, many engineering disciplines have been slow in implementingchange through the adoption of active learning and evidence based teaching methods. However,the wide availability of modern instructional technologies and model activities significantlyreduces the barrier for the instructor in adoption and implementation of such approaches. Thecurrent instructional approach focuses on an implementation study of the POGIL method, basedon model activities in a recently published topical textbook, and the use of bring your owndevices (BYOD) in-class polling to provide formative assessment for the students and theinstructor. The strategy has been employed in classrooms with distinct room layouts andenrollment numbers (from 50 to 180 students). Students’ evaluation of instructional strategiesand impact (eisi) was used to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of the POGIL methodrelative to traditional stand and deliver lecture courses. Quantitative assessments of teachingeffectiveness are further supplemented by student comments and instructor/course evaluations.The specific POGIL implementation used in the current course employed several specificinstructional/assessment strategies. Prior to each in-class activity, students are assigned topicalreading from a traditional introductory textbook which is paired with an online quiz focusing onterminology which must be completed prior to the classroom session. Each classroom sessionbegins with a brief topical introduction, followed by a team based POGIL activity. For the teambased activity, students are asked to self-select a group of 3-4 students with whom to completethe activity. During the activity, the instructor and up to three peer instructional assistants floatbetween groups to help steer discussions and stimulate inquiry. Near the end of each timedactivity, a web-based BYOD polling platform is employed to deliver one or more “ConceptChecks,” conceptual or quantitative problems to provide formative assessment to the studentsand feedback to the instructor. Depending on the outcome of the “Concept Checks” further teambased discussion or a mini lecture may be used to address specific areas of misunderstanding.Additional out of class practice on each topic is then gained through follow up homeworkassignments focused on engineering problem solving and application of the knowledge gainedin-class. On the basis of student evaluations, implementation of the POGIL approach resulted insignificant gains in nearly all assessed areas over traditional lecture based coursework including:attention, interest, motivation, exam performance, participation, and confidence.

Eitel, R. E. (2015, June), Implementation and Assessment of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Large-format Classrooms for Introduction to Materials Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24235

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