Peer instruction is an activating teaching method. This method can be used to detect understanding of students during learning process and correct misconceptions. This method is based on the older "Think-Pair-Share" method, a collaborative teaching method from 1980. The essence of peer-instruction method is that it has three parts. First a question (a case) is asked (given) to all students individually to think about and to vote about which of the given statements about the question (case) is correct. Second: when about 40-60% of the students give a correct answer, students are asked to discuss with the neighbor who has a different answer. Third: the students are asked to vote again.
The lecturer summarizes and gives more explanation if needed.
Peer-instruction was developed by Eric Mazur (Physics, Harvard University).
Eric Mazur published about their research on the effects of peer-instruction on learning and understanding.
See the explanation by Eric Mazur about his method:
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- Mazur, M. (2009) Farewell, Lecture?, Science, 232, pp. 50-51.
- Crouch, C.H., Mazur, M. (2011), Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results, Am. J. Phys. 69 (9), 970-977.
- Turn to your neighbour, de peer-instruction blog
- Video's Eric Mazur: From Questions to concepts
- Eric Mazur: Confessions of converted lecturer (talk)
- Quote Eric Mazur: "I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly."
- Eric Mazur
Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. Leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University.
Original author: Natasa Brouwer
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