Guided inquiry learning across educational contexts

Elliot P. Douglas, M. David Miller, Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Timothy Wells, Timothy Raymond, Cindy Waters, William L. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Student-centered learning is known to lead to greater student knowledge gains and conceptual understanding. In practice, implementation of these approaches can vary from the ideal implementation as defined by the original developer, leading to differences in student outcomes compared to what might be expected. Fidelity of implementation, i.e., the extent to which key practices of a pedagogical approach are used, must be considered in understanding how student-centered pedagogies impact students. In this mixed method study, we examined how Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) was implemented across diverse institutional contexts and how those implementations affected students' conceptual understanding. The domains of curricula framework allowed us to understand how the curriculum as practiced by instructors and experienced by students differed from the ideal curriculum as originally designed. Our results show that implementation is impacted by the particular circumstances of a classroom, and that differences in implementation can affect the benefits to students.Weconclude that fidelity of implementation needs to be taken into account when considering the effectiveness of any pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-186
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Active learning
  • Fidelity of implementation
  • Guided inquiry
  • Student-centered learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)


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