top of page

Can POGIL Increase Retention for First-Semester Computer Science Students?

Presented by:

Ruthie Halma, Truman State University

The first- to second-year retention rate for computer science majors is one of the lowest rates of all majors. Can using the POGIL approach help?

Can POGIL Increase Retention for First-Semester Computer Science Students?


Retention from first to second year for computer science majors is known to be one of the lowest of all majors. The POGIL approach to concept learning was used in a first-year computer science classroom and compared to teaching the same material using the traditional lecture method. Results are given comparing the two methods, as are potential additional uses of POGIL to engage new learners and potentially increase retention.


Classroom Community/Culture, Experiential Learning, Interactive Instruction


Apply the POGIL approach in a typical first-year computer science (CS1) classroom setting.
Connect the POGIL approach of learning to other potential uses in a CS1 classroom.
Consider the use of POGIL to increase first year retention in computer science.

Hear it from the author:

Can POGIL Increase Retention for First-Semester Computer Science Students?Ruthie Halma, Truman State University
00:00 / 01:04

Audio Transcript:


Become a POGIL practitioner. (n.d.). POGIL.

Giannakos, M., Pappas, I., Jaccheri, L., & Sampson, D. (2017). Understanding student retention in computer science education: The role of environment, gains, barriers and usefulness. Education and Information Technologies, 22(5), 2365–2382.

Home. (n.d.). CS POGIL.

Yadav, A., Kussmaul, C., Mayfield, C., & Hu, H. (2019). POGIL in computer science: Faculty motivation and challenges. In Proceedings of the 50th Annual ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education'19, February 27–March 2, 2019, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

bottom of page