Alternative Grading

Equitable Grading and Ecosystems for More Caring Communities

From peer instruction to POGIL

Improving equity in CS education with guided lecture notes.

There is overwhelming evidence that active learning is better than completely passive lecture. However, adoption of evidence-based teaching practices has been slow in part because creating new course materials is often a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Inspired by prior work in the sciences, we describe our experiences deploying guided lecture notes to transition from peer instruction (10% of lecture time) to process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL, 50% of lecture time) over two offerings of data structures and algorithms in a large R1 university. In the first offering, we added metacognitive questions in the presentation speaker notes, providing additional scaffolding between pre-lecture reading and in-lecture peer instruction activities. At the beginning of each class session, we distributed guided lecture notes to students by printing the presentation speaker notes alongside lecture slide content. In this way, we were able to seamlessly integrate new supporting materials alongside lecture graphics and examples. In the second offering, we expanded guided lecture notes into POGIL worksheets by migrating most of the remaining passive lecture content to pre-lecture readings and consolidating lecture around three levels of process oriented guided inquiry: (1) metacognitive questions, (2) peer instruction activities scaffolded by the metacognitive questions, and (3) practice problems integrating multiple ideas. The resulting POGIL classroom leverages presentation software as a canvas for introducing problems with graphics and animations while structuring activities around active learning via process oriented guided inquiry.