About the National Conference for Advanced POGIL Practitioners (NCAPP)

The idea for this event grew from interest within our thriving community of experienced POGIL educators who have been applying their knowledge and skills in new and innovative ways over the past several years.  The goal of the inaugural NCAPP in 2017 was to create a conference where POGIL practitioners could come together to share new ideas, get targeted feedback, engage in in-depth discussions, interact with a diverse community of teachers, and gain a deeper mastery of the POGIL approach.

By all measures, 2017 NCAPP was a huge success for both attendees and The Project.  Click on the photo to the right for a slideshow of the inaugural conference.

The theme for the 2019 NCAPP is Building Bridges/Breaking Barriers.  We hope to foster connections among participants across institutions and disciplines to create a supportive, inclusive community of transformational educators and also address obstacles to collaborative learning and identify strategies to improve the classroom experience for all students.

We hope you'll join us for 2019 NCAPP and inspire us with your ideas, expertise and experience.  Together, we will improve, enhance, and transform education for every student, everywhere.

NCAPP Application

Application Information

Attendance at the National Conference for Advanced POGIL Practitioners is by application.  All conference participants actively contribute to the planned program.  Therefore, in addition to basic information about you and your POGIL experience, the application provides opportunities for you to summarize any work you would like to present in any of the various types of sessions.  Applicants invited to attend the conference are also notified of accepted presentations.


Who Should Apply?

We encourage applications from POGIL practitioners who have previously completed 3-day POGIL workshops or who have substantial experience implementing POGIL in their classrooms or laboratories.  NCAPP is not an introduction to POGIL pedagogy, so we recommend novices start by attending a 3-day regional workshop before applying to attend NCAPP. All conference participants should expect to contribute to the program.

Application Timeline

  • Early August ~ The call for applications is sent out to our database of POGIL users and is also available on our website..
  • November 1st ~ Priority consideration deadline
  • December 15th ~ Applicants who applied by November 1st are notified of an acceptance decision.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from November 1st through March 1st, or until the conference has reached maximum attendance.

Conference Details

The next NCAPP will take place June 24-26, 2019 at Washington University in St. Louis.   Registration is $500 and includes lunches and dinners. On-campus housing is $225 and includes breakfasts. Limited scholarships are available for NCAPP attendance.

Conference Schedule

The conference schedule is largely dependent on the accepted applicants and the types of sessions they are interested in participating in and/or presenting.  Therefore, the conference schedule for 2019 NCAPP will be a work in progress through the spring of 2019.  If you'd like a feel for the overall types and balance of sessions, check out our sapmle agenda as an example.

Thank You

A special thank you to our returning NCAPP Scholarship Partners: Flinn Scientific and Wiley & Sons. As Scholarship Partners, Flinn and Wiley are making it possible for several teachers to attend NCAPP this summer. We are grateful to have our key publishing partners as sponsors and supporters of NCAPP, and as an integral part of the POGIL community. A special POGIL thank you to Flinn and Wiley!!

Plenary Speakers

The plenary speakers for 2019 NCAPP will include Dr. Michael J. Bruno, North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics; Dr. Katayoun Chamany, The New School; Dr Sylvia Hurtado, UCLA and Dr. Susan Shadle, Boise State University.

Michael J. Bruno, Ph.D., grew up in Connecticut, and received an A.B. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University. At Cornell, he studied changes in membrane elasticity caused by polyunsaturated fatty acids. As a post-doc at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, he studied the role of membrane curvature on synaptic vesicle fusion. At UNC, he was a fellow in the SPIRE fellowship program, which combines research support and community service with an emphasis on minority careers in academic science. It was as a SPIRE fellow that he became interested in active learning. He was first introduced to POGIL as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Guilford College. He is currently an Instructor of Chemistry at the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics, a public residential high school for talented students, where he uses POGIL to teach chemistry and biochemistry, and has introduced the practice to many of his colleagues who now incorporate the pedagogy into their own classrooms.

Katayoun Chamany, Ph.D., is the Mohn Family Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School and a Senior SENCER Leadership Fellow. She is the author of Stem Cells Across the Curriculum which has been selected as a SENCER model course. She is the recipient of the John A. Moore Award for Science as a Way of Knowing from the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology and the William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science from the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement.

Sylvia Hurtado, Ph.D., is a Professor of Education and was Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles for over a decade. She has written extensively on student development and college experiences, campus climate, and diversity in higher education. She is co-editor of two recent books that won awards for academic-themed nonfiction from the International Latino Book Awards: Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Advancing Research and Transformative Practice(2015, Routledge Press) and The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans from K-12 to College and Beyond (2015, University of Texas Press). She received the 2018 Social Justice in Education Award from the American Educational Research Association, was named an AERA Fellow in 2011, and served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in 2005. Black Issues in Higher Education (Diverse magazine), named her among the Top 15 influential faculty who personify scholarship, service, and integrity and whose work has had a substantial impact on the academy. She has led several national projects on diverse learning environments and student retention, STEM education and diversification of the scientific workforce, and innovation in undergraduate education.

Susan E. Shadle, Ph.D. is founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Boise State University. She arrived at Boise State in 1996 with an undergraduate degree from Colgate University, a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Stanford University, and a National Institute of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.Shadle teaches large-enrollment general chemistry courses and was recognized as the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year from Idaho in Fall 2015. In addition, she supports faculty development across campus focused on inclusive excellence, effective course design, assessment of student learning, and the development of rich pedagogical toolboxes. She contributes professionally to both the national POGIL Project (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning), the POD Network (Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education), and the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN). Her scholarly interests are focused on factors that impact faculty and institutional change.

Activity Feedback

Activity feedback slots are limited.

This set of two sessions will be facilitated by an experienced POGIL author, and participants will work in teams to peer review each other’s activities.  In the first session, participants will review submitted activities, compare their reviews with others, and work to achieve consensus on how to effectively use content and process rubrics to assist in giving quality feedback to authors.  In the second session, participants will work in teams and apply the rubrics to provide feedback on each other’s activities. This workshop is suggested for authors who would like to increase their ability to assess their own activities, as well as for those who would like to provide feedback to other authors.

Authors with activities ready for review will receive priority consideration for participation in Activity Feedback and will be asked to submit the activity they would like reviewed before coming to NCAPP. This activity should have already been tested in the classroom. Activity feedback participants must attend the first session to participate in the second session.

Birds of a Feather Gatherings

Also known as idea exchanges or networking tables, Birds of a Feather Gatherings will be organized as part of the conference program. They are relatively small and informal discussion-based gatherings, aimed at building networks and exploring ideas. This is the only session type for which there is NO formal presentation. Instead, the facilitators ensure that there is time for introductions among those in attendance and come with questions or ideas to spark discussion around a particular topic.

Wha does a Birds of a Feather Session look like? At the beginning of the exchange, the facilitator will welcome attendees and ask each to introduce her or himself and to note their interest in the topic. The facilitator will likely pose a thought-provoking question or challenge, and from there, those in attendance are encouraged to share and discuss, to network, and to learn one from another. It is a 'meeting of the minds' and the time together will be whatever you make of it.


Fishbowls are 45-minute classroom simulations in which the presenter will facilitate an activity of their choice for 20 minutes. All conference participants will be involved in the fishbowls, either as an activity facilitator, student, or observer. The presenter will be selected through the application process. These sessions are designed to assist both presenter and participants in improving facilitation skills. This experience will provide participants with a number of different perspectives on which to reflect, including how different strate­gies impact the effectiveness of POGIL activities.

What does a fishbowl session look like? At least one month before the conference, fishbowl presenters will complete the Fishbowl Activ­ity Form and submit their activity.  This includes information about the intended student population, place in the curriculum, and prerequisite knowledge. This form also includes: one clearly stated content goal and one clearly stated process skill goal that can be achieved by “students” within 20 minutes. The process skill area (such as teamwork, management, assessment, communication, etc.) should be indicated in a parenthetical at the end of the goal.  (Fishbowls are not intended to provide feedback on a classroom activity.) At the start of the session, a moderator will set up the fishbowl, separating the participants into fish (“students” who will work on the activity in teams) and observers. For the first half of the 45-minute session, you will conduct an activity as you would with regular students, with attendees acting as students and observers. Afterward, the moderator will facilitate a discussion about the strengths of your facilitation, missed opportunities, and any insights they gained from their perspective.

Informal Networking

This time is designed to provide participants with a chance to network and work on collaborative projects in a variety of settings.  In order to facilitate this process, organizers and participants will create sign up lists for projects as well as fun and interesting activities. These activities provide an opportunity to expand your network and develop new collaborations and projects in an informal setting.  These activities can be on or off campus and could include a planning meeting for a research project, a shopping trip, a walk, an athletic activity, a museum visit or a factory tour. If you have an idea for a project or activity, do a bit of research before the conference so you can take the lead in making it happen.  

Panel Discussion

Presenters are strongly encouraged to identify complementary presentations and submit them as a team.  Presentation ideas submitted individually will be grouped with others on a common theme and will be allocated 15 minutes as part of a 45-minute session.   Topics may include best practices, methodology, facilitation, curriculum, NGSS, scholarly work, etc. Abstracts should detail the focus of the presentation and the way(s) in which it relates to student-centered learning. If you have any questions about the suitability of your panel discussion proposal, please contact An-Phong Le (ale@flsouthern.edu) or Marcy Dubroff (marcy.dubroff@pogil.org).

What does a panel discussion look like? Panel discussions include 2-3 presentations on a common theme during a 45-minute session.  Each presenter will have 10-15 minutes to present and discuss the key points of his or her work, followed by 5-7 minutes for questions and answers.  Attendees generally participate as one large group audience (instead of multiple small teams). The presenters scheduled in the session are encouraged to communicate with each other about how the session will run in order to maximize interaction with attendees. A moderator will welcome the audience and coordinate the session, including keeping time throughout.  The moderator will then facilitate a question-and-answer period during which audience questions and discussion points are invited. Forum presenters usually supplement their presentations with audio-visual aids illustrating their key points, and a computer, LCD projector, and screen are provided in each room in which panel discussions are held.


This formal graphic presentation of your topic, displayed on poster board, offers an excellent opportunity for gathering detailed feedback on your work and reporting on evaluation results. A poster abstract should detail the focus of the presentation and the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge. The conference provides the tri-fold display boards and pins for posters while presenters provide all items to be attached to the boards.

What does a poster session look like? All posters are presented during one of the poster sessions throughout the conference. Posters are presented on tri-fold display boards placed on tables throughout the room. Poster presenters stand beside their posters and discuss their work one-on-one or in small groups with attendees. Most attendees meander through the posters, stopping to review or discuss those that pique their interest. Some poster presenters supplement their posters with a handout that summarizes their work and provides contact information for further follow-up.


Professional Development Workshops

As part of 90-minute sessions taking place during the conference, professional development workshops provide instructors from both high schools and colleges/universities with an opportunity to obtain professional development and to gain new insights into teaching and learning. Professional Development workshops will be presented by a trained facilitator who is expected to have significant experience facilitating workshops in the subject area. Workshops will be selected by The POGIL Project from recently developed advanced workshops.

What does a professional development workshop look like? Professional Development Workshops are 90 minutes in length. Participants work together in small groups on facilitated activities designed for interactive learning. Participants receive take-home materials and have an opportunity for interaction with the facilitator and their peers.


Roundtables are 45-minute discussions that typically include 5-15 minutes of presentation, followed by 30-40 minutes of discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table. Roundtable presentations are among the most flexible format offered at the conference, and may look quite different from session to session. The one thing that they have in common is that each allows for extended discussion within a small group. Roundtables are excellent venues for giving and receiving targeted feedback, engaging in in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests. Topics may include, but should not be limited to group formation, classroom management, metacognition research, feedback on SoTL research projects, facilitation issues, and writing activities. The abstract should detail the focus of the presentation.

What does a roundtable session look like? When you walk into a roundtable room, you will find the room set up so attendees can face each other. The session begins with a 5- to 15-minute presentation. Each presenter will be supported by a moderator to include an extended discussion component with ample time for questions. Most roundtable presenters bring handouts illustrating their work. Roundtables are excellent venues for providing hands-on demonstrations of techniques, getting targeted feedback, engaging in in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests. While your attendees may be eager with questions, it is useful to have one or two prepared questions at the ready that you can use, if needed, to stimulate the discussion.