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Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)

Prof. Sadanand S. Howal


The POGIL is one of the best active learning tool. It is student centric instructional base learning. This active learning tool engages student. As this is inquiry based tool, it increases self-learning ability of student. It constructs student’s concept seamlessly. To promote deep content understanding, inquiry approach to science teaching has been widely recommended.  Most of the time we faces the problem of large classroom. POGIL helps us to overcome this problem.

About POGIL:

         Initially POGIL was applied in chemistry field for study of formulation of various chemicals. Now it is widely used across range of fields.

Following are the skills of student can be developed using POGIL:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Self-Learning
  • Analytical skill
  • Working within Team
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Management

A group of student works on this activity. A different role is assigned to a group of students. The students work in a team of 3 to 4 members. A facilitator i.e. faculty will provides the instructional material. It consists problems and questions. The questions and problems are designed in a way that the answer of previous question is required to solve the next question or problem and that leads students to valid own conclusion. So that students will slowly get understood about concept & finally learn whole concept. A group will start working on the problem and questions by referring books, internet, journals etc. Each member of a group perform their role. This pedagogical techniques helps student build their self-learning ability, able to divide problem into pieces and slowly acquire the concepts with application.

Actual Implementation:

I have applied POGIL for Java programming language to teach Java IO and thread concept of Third Year Student.

A team of 4 members formed. Following roles were created within a team:

  • Recorder: Records all answers & questions, and provides copies to team & facilitator
  • Speaker: Talks to facilitator and other teams if any problem.
  • Manager: Keeps track of time and makes sure everyone contributes appropriately.
  • Reflector: Considers how the team could work and learn more effectively.

I have created an instructional material separately for Java IO and Thread respectively. For java IO, have created four module`s as described below and allotted two hours to complete the single activity:

Module No. Description Time(in Min)
  1 Java IO & stream introduction 10
  2 Stream classes structure 60
  3 File Reader and writer classes 20
  4 Reading data from keyboard 20

Table No.1 Java I/O Module

The module of topic is designed in a way that student should go in detail to each term of topic. Before starting actual solving of activity an introduction of each term is already given in instructional material which was already shared with students through Moodle. Also, it consists of some sample program source code with output, syntax for few class constructors, class hierarchy and accessibility of classes etc. I have asked students carry laptop in a group. So that they can test their program & easily get which concept works for what purpose.  

Below are the sample questions asked in instructional material:

  1. Write description in front of each piece of code.

Sr. No.

Piece of code



FileInputStream fin1=new FileInputStream(“e:\\simple1.txt “);

FileInputStream fin2=new FileInputStream(“e:\\simple.txt “);


SequenceInputStream sis=new SequenceInputStream(fin1,fin2);


int i1=0;







  1. Replace highlighted part by alternate method to get output “line by line” instead of character.
  2. After, executing above program no. 1 what output have you observed? Write your observations.


Following observations I have made after activity:

Sr. No.

Traditional Classroom

POGIL Classroom


Student role is passive learner

It is changed to active learner.


Writes and try to memorize concepts during lecture.

Constructs concepts and applies it during activity. No need to memorize.


No team work

Works in team with a role.


No passion develops for self-learning

Creates interest to learn thing at own.

A collected feedback from student on various aspects using Google Form has shown great satisfaction of learnt concept as well as about activity. 

Rating is assigned poor to excellent (0-Poor and 5- Excellent)