This week I read this great Campus Technology article about a couple of techniques Dr. Julie Schell is using to make the most of her flipped classroom. I wanted to share one of these techniques with readers here … Peer Instruction. According to Schell, Peer Instruction was developed in the 1990s by Professor Eric Mazur at Harvard University.
In this brief 2 minute video, Schell explains Peer Instruction:
The 7 Step Process for Peer Instruction
In the video, Schell outlines these 7 steps for implementating Peer Instruction in your classrooms:
- The instructor gives a “mini lecture,” a brief introduction to a topic;
- Students are asked a question related to the topic that expands their thinking;
- Each student chooses an answer individually and moves into peer discussion to try to convince a fellow student of the rightness of his or her response;
- The student responds to the same question again;
- The correct answer is shared by the faculty member;
- Students are invited to share why they chose the answer they did — right or wrong; and
- A longer explanation is provided.
Peer instruction can be an excellent tool for flipped teach and learning. Step 1 is the outside of class content that gets consumed, then Steps 2 through 7 take place in the following class session. You could also have students do Step 2 outside of the class, right after consuming the flipped content. Just be sure capture their responses in a way that is not shared with others.
More Peer Instruction Resources
Schell runs a great web site focused on Peer Instruction: blog.peerinstruction.net. Here’s a few excellent articles to help you learn more and dig deeper into PI:
- Quick Start Guide to Flipping your Classroom with Peer Instruction
- What is exactly is a ConcepTest?
- Choreography of a flipped classroom (includes a nice “Peer Instruction” workflow graphic)
I’m looking forward to using peer instruction in my Emerging Information Technologies course this fall at The College of Westchester!