ALLIANCE, Ohio — Faculty in the University of Mount Union’s science-based programs recently received a $1,000 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) for innovative virtual workshops to enhance student learning processes.
The workshops would bring a new pedagogy to campus in the form of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). According to its website, POGIL states the traditional POGIL classroom consists of, “students working in small, self-managed teams on specially designed guided inquiry materials.” POGIL activities explicitly target process skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication while guiding students to construct understanding of the course content.
Survey results from nearly 700 student respondents representing six different institutions found that 80% of students preferred POGIL-style learning, while less than half of those surveyed preferred traditional lecture-style learning.
“I came across some information online about POGIL during the early summer while looking for ways to bring active learning to a science class (particularly one without a lab component),” said Dr. Steve Cederbloom, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Mount Union. “In early August, OH-PKAL sent out an announcement about its teaching grant. One of the two options was to bring a new pedagogy to campus, and POGIL seemed like a perfect fit.”
Eleven faculty from five academic departments, as well as members of Mount Union’s Center for Faculty Development will participate in the virtual POGIL workshops. During the spring, several POGIL activities will be auditioned in courses at Mount Union. The number of students affected during the spring is estimated at 100 – 125, although the faculty anticipate continuing to integrate POGIL into these courses and introducing it into other courses beyond the spring.