By David Westerman, PhD
Chemistry major Stacey Jarvis ’15 presented the results of her Undergraduate Research Fellowship and Honors Thesis at the Northeast Undergraduate Research and Development Symposium (NURDS) in Biddeford, Maine, earlier this year. Her poster presentation Assessment of Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning in General Chemistry at Norwich University was carried out under the mentorship of Prof. Mary Hoppe, the recent chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Stacey’s work analyzed the outcomes of the Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) pedagogy. The pedagogy method was designed to promote active learning by enabling students to construct new knowledge on their own. This method has been in use at Norwich University since 1996. Through statistical evaluation of student performance data from 1991 to date, Stacey’s study found that the overall GPA of general chemistry classes has increased significantly, independent of the course section or the professor of record. Interaction in the classroom appears to have worked wonders for the General Chemistry students and could be beneficial in other disciplines at Norwich University and elsewhere.
About the Author: David S. Westerman, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology at Norwich University and the Associate Vice President for Research in NU’s Office of Academic Research. This article is reprinted from the OAR blog.