Submitted by Joseph Keane / Muhlenberg College on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:52

In response to a talk I gave at the Mid-atlantic ACS Regional Meeting, the friendly VIPEr folks asked me to write a BITes about my POGIL-type materials for inorganic chemistry. Very briefly, POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is an active-learning model intended to supplant traditional lectures. Students work in groups on carefully written materials (“Activities”) that guide them to a more independent development of key concepts and course content. Rick Moog and others have published studies demonstrating superior outcomes (course performance, retention, etc.) for courses instructed using POGIL.1-6 The best way to learn about POGIL is to attend one of the many workshops run by The POGIL Project (

While interest in POGIL has spread rapidly within chemistry as a whole, there seem to be few inorganic courses currently instructed using POGIL. One likely reason for this disparity is the fact that inorganic is the only major chemistry subdiscipline for which there is not a commercially available POGIL workbook. I am therefore writing one. This summer I completed a major revision of a 350+ page draft. It includes chapters addressing nuclei, atomic structure and properties, simple models of bonding, symmetry, molecular orbital theory, acids and bases, the solid state, and coordination compounds. Apart from a few traditional lectures on descriptive chemistry, I teach an entire one-semester course using this workbook.

Because of their intended commercial trajectory, I cannot post the materials on the VIPEr site, but I am happy to share them with folks who are familiar with POGIL instruction and are willing to provide feedback, either from use in a course or otherwise. Please contact me if you are interested. I will be speaking about this project again in the POGIL session at the fall ACS meeting in Washington, and I will also have a Sci-Mix poster at the same.


1.         Farrell, J. J.; Moog, R. S.; Spencer, J. N., A Guided Inquiry General Chemistry Course. J. Chem. Ed. 1999, 76, 570-574.

2.         Hanson, D.; Wolfskill, T., Process Workshops - A New Model For Instruction. J. Chem. Ed. 2000, 77, 120-130.

3.         Hinde, R. J.; Kovac, J., Student Active Learning in Physical Chemistry. J. Chem. Ed. 2001, 78, 93-99.

4.         Lewis, J. E.; Lewis, S. E., Departing from Lectures: An Evaluation of a Peer-Led Guided Inquiry Alternative. J. Chem. Ed. 2005, 82 (1), 135-139.

5.         Straumanis, A.; Simons, E. In Assessment of Student Learning in POGIL Organic Chemistry. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 231st American Chemical Society National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 26; Atlanta, GA, 2006.

6.         Fairweather, J. Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Undergraduate Education, A Status Report for The National Academies National Research Council Board of Science Education.… (accessed July 5, 2017).


Tina McCartha / Newberry College

I am teaching Inorganic Chemistry Spring 2018.  I would love to use the material and provide feedback.  I have taught organic using POGIL for many years and I am very familiar with the instruction as are the students.  I am at a very small college (~1100 students).  Inorganic is a required course for the major and offered every other year with generally 10-20 students.  We generally graduate 4-8 chemistry majors each year.


Thu, 07/06/2017 - 04:50 Permalink
Ivana B / Basis Independent Silicon Valley

Hi Jon,

I have gone through POGIL training and used POGIL in my general chemistry classes. I now teach Inorganic chemisrty as a post-AP class to HS juniors and seniors who aced AP chemistry. I only have 13 students in my class and would be happy to provide feedback for any material you'd like to have tested. I can even have the students write feedback if you want - I have a whole year to teach what I taught in one semester in college, so we have ample time in class. :)



Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:07 Permalink
Jason D. Powell / Ferrum College

I am in the same boat (teaching inorganic on its two-year rotation its Spring 2018 and interested in POGIL-type approaches). Does your course have an associated lab?

If you're interested, perhaps we can collaborate on this and maybe do a presentation at BCCE next summer?

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 09:52 Permalink
Andrea V / Chicago State University

Hello, I'm in my first semester of teaching inorganic chemistry.  I use POGIL activities extensively when teaching general chemistry.  I'll love to use some of your materials and provide feedback.  While I'm new to inorganic chemistry, my background is in chemistry education and CER.  Thanks!

Sun, 10/29/2017 - 20:20 Permalink
Joan Roque / Westminster College

Hello, Since last year I've been using POGIL activities for general chemistry. I am interested in incorporating POGIL materials for the spring 2019 inorganic class, so if possible, I will love to use the materials and provide feedback. I am expecting to have a classroom size of about 18 students (max) and can ask them to provide feedback on the POGIL activities. Thank You!

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:40 Permalink
Brian Jenkins / Harvard University

Hi Joseph,


I would love to be able to use your materials as a supplementary resource to complement my studies; I found POGILs very helpful in high school, and I would love to be able to use them again in college. I plan on distributing them to classmates and will gladly get feedback and administer surveys if necessary. If possible, could you send me the POGILs?


Thank you so much, 



Wed, 10/17/2018 - 15:42 Permalink
joaless / University of Tokyo

Hi Joseph,

I'm teaching Inorganic Chemistry for the first time at a university in Tokyo and I would love to incorporate some of your POGIL materials into my classes. Traditionally, the classes have been taught in the teacher-centred lecture style, and I feel that POGIL will definitely shake things up for the students and perhaps get the other chemistry instructors on board to change their teaching style once they see the advantages of this method. I have attended POGIL workshops and also use POGIL methods in some of the other classes I teach. I would be happy to provide you with feedback on your activities in exchange.

All the best,


Thu, 03/28/2019 - 04:42 Permalink
Briana Aguila / Francis Marion University

Hello Joseph,

I am teaching Inorganic Chemistry this semester and am very interested in using the POGIL approach for my students. I would be happy to provide feedback if given the opportunity to use your workbook.

Thank you,


Tue, 01/11/2022 - 13:00 Permalink