• Open Access

Pedagogies of engagement in science

A comparison of PBL, POGIL, and PLTL


  • This effort originated from an evening discussion among T.E., R.M., H.B.W., and others at the MADCP (Middle Atlantic Discovery Chemistry Project) Meeting in 2004 at George Washington University, which was continued at the MADCP Meeting at Washington College, Chestertown, MD, in 2007. All of the authors, listed alphabetically, have contributed substantively to the preparation of this manuscript.

  • This work is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement for Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) grant P116B40949. We thank several funding sources for their initial and continuing support of our efforts spanning more than a decade. These include National Science Foundation (NSF) grants 9354606, 9620082, 9653203, 9653663, FIPSE P116B60737, and HHMI 520030062, 52003754, and 52005898 for PBL projects; NSF grants 0231120, 0618746, 0618758, 0618800, and 0717392 for the POGIL Project, and NSF grants 9455920, 9972457, and 0231349 for the Workshop Chemistry Project.


Problem-based learning, process-oriented guided inquiry learning, and peer-led team learning are student-centered, active-learning pedagogies commonly used in science education. The characteristic features of each are compared and contrasted to enable new practitioners to decide which approach or combination of approaches will suit their particular situation.