POGIL stands for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning.
Many students were in the room before the class started. The POGIL activity was the start of class, so to begin assigning groups, a sample set of desks were positioned and the facilitator asked students in the room to form groups of four and to arrange the desks according to the sample set of seats. Since there was an odd number of students, another instructor participated in a smaller group until other students arrived to class. They were instructed as they entered which group to attend.
Within the groups of four, each student was assigned a role for participation. The Document controller was responsible for double checking work before members record anything and was in charge of picking up/dropping off materials. The reader was to read all of the paper so that the order of the activity was followed by the whole group. The time keeper was to keep the flow of the activity on track to meet the needs of the facilitator. Finally, we used the manager role to keep everyone on task of their own work. These roles were assigned throughout the activity as needed, first being the document controller. Our group was very functional, each person performed their task well and worked to complete the task as a whole group. They were good to help create meaning to those who struggled to understand the present task. Even when there were people who were confused the group helped keep one another accountable for the work needed to be completed.
There were three major outcomes of this activity. The first was the understanding of what good Essential Questions looked like and how to create a good Essential Question. Another outcome was for participants to self asses and re-evaluate their essential question for the Understanding by Design assignment. The last outcome was for pre-service teachers to learn about the POGIL process as a teaching/group work strategy.
During the debrief after the completion of the activity, the conversation was clear that there were lessons already established using the POGIL model for many science classes, but math instructors would need to learn more about the process to develop and test their own lessons. I think this process might be useful in my future classes by using parts of the model to establish group work on a guided inquiry activity. The roles provided are useful to almost any group activity because they clearly state the participant’s responsibility in the group and then they agree with the responsibility of their role. Group roles can be used for any group activity and they are unique and serve a purpose (they are not meaningless group roles). I may use this type of activity when introducing new topics that are heavily scaffolded, I’m unsure of how to use this process for less structured activities.