On Thursday I attend a workshop on POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). POGIL is a technique that was developed in the sciences (Chemistry and Biology) which focuses on active learning and peer instruction.
During the workshop, we learned about POGIL using (you got it) POGIL techniques. One primary method of learning in POGIL is to form small groups (3-4 people) which work through a detailed exercise. Each member of the group has one or more assigned roles (Manager, Recorder, Presenter, Technician, etc). The primary role of the instructor is to serve as facilitator and to deliver brief periods of instruction which build on the activities.
As part of the workshop, we observed a POGIL based chemistry class. It was an interesting experience (40 students learned while the class watched observed) to say the least but I was struck with how effectively the instructor (Andrei Straumanis) coordinated a the classroom and how he used Information Technology to enhance the experience.
Lots more about POGIL can be found at http://www.pogil.org. If you want to hear more, talk about how we could develop a POGIL Information Literacy curriculum, or see an example exercise, stop by to chat!