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 (https://pogil.org/events).
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. https://nsf.gov/attachments/117803/public/Xc--Linking_Evidence--Fairwea… (accessed July 5, 2017).