Learning Cycles in Large Chemistry Lectures: Implementation Logistics

By Ellen Yezierski

Miami University

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Transforming Education from Innovation to Implementation Conference: Session F2

Inquiry-based instruction employing the learning cycle is theoretically grounded in constructivism (1) and social constructivism (2) as well as empirically supported in research conducted in learning environments K-16. Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is a teaching method that has been broadly disseminated over the past 8 years. Implementing POGIL and related approaches in large college chemistry courses is accompanied by a host of logistical challenges; however, interested practitioners have pooled their strategies with the hope that instructors, across a variety of college and university teaching settings, will adopt more student-centered teaching methods. These strategies (3) address implementation by focusing on parameters related to planning, instructional materials, assessment, and management which support students engaging in mini-learning cycles in collaborative groups. With respect to planning, the primary focus is on the process of determining the underlying knowledge structures and then developing activities which replace lecture and help students invent and/or discover this knowledge through the analysis of data or a model. The duration for course transformation is variable and depends on the pace at which materials development can occur. There are numerous practitioners across the U.S. at a variety of types of institutions. This presentation will present one practitioner's implementation lessons learned about syllabus design, creating student groups, and grading considerations, along tested group activities. Additionally, data demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach will be disseminated with the hope of producing impacts going beyond instructor-byinstructor adoption.