Date of Award


Document type


Degree Name

Masters theses/dissertations - taught courses

First Supervisor

Ms Dearbhla Casey

Second Supervisor

Dr Pauline Joyce


Change Management, Medical Education, Teaching Methods, POGIL, Organic Chemistry, Innovative Teaching


A new team-based teaching approach known as the Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) has been introduced into an organic chemistry course taught for first Year medical students. This is an innovative teaching style whereby students are transformed from being passive into active learners aiding to improve their both content related and higher-order process skills, including critical thinking, reflection, teamwork, etc. The implementation of POGIL as a change project was done using the HSE change model and it was carried out in two phases: a pilot, compulsory post-lecture phase followed by a voluntary, full-programme pre-lecture phase. The assessment of students’ performance in continuous assessments, process skills and perceptions have shown some positive results as the majority of students who committed to the voluntary phase have reported an overall satisfaction with the new way of teaching, showed positive signs of critical thinking improvement, produced good quality reflections and achieved satisfactory scores in their tests. On the contrary, the responses from those who have chosen not to participate in the voluntary programme or withdrawn from it have shownthat they were either resistant to the change strategy, not the change itself, or they were still stuck in the early stages of shock, denial, etc. of reaction to change. Overall, these findings, coupled with the encouraging responses from the instructors, suggest that POGIL could achieve more promising results if a longer term, modified setting is implemented.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

File Size

849 KB


A dissertation submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Healthcare Management, Institute of Leadership, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2013.