Peer Instruction 101: What is Peer Instruction?


(Read this post in Portuguese)

Turns out people from all over the world have some common questions about Peer Instruction. Let’s start with the most basic of all–as Brian from Ireland, Raquel from the Dominican Republic, and Daniel from Bakersfield California recently asked, “What is Peer Instruction?”

Peer Instruction is a research-based, interactive teaching method developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University in the 1990s. It has been adopted across the disciplines, institutional types, and throughout the world. It incorporates many different ideas aligned with how people learn and how they learn best.  Check out this link for a more detailed explanation or this article, Using JiTT with Peer Instruction.

The below video from the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, provides a great 2 minute primer on Peer Instruction, featuring Eric. Prefer to read a transcription of the video? Click here.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 8.04.17 AMFrom Questions to Concepts


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  1. Patti Hunter

    The video on this post is no longer accessible. Can we get it back?

      • Patti Hunter


        ***** Patti W. Hunter Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA 93108 USA

        On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 6:07 AM, Turn to Your Neighbor: The Official Peer Instructi

  2. Bill Ashmanskas

    I ask my students first to think about the question on their own and then to turn to their neighbors once they have thought carefully enough about the question to be able to have a sensible discussion with their neighbors in support of their own answers. I find that that leaves less classroom idle time than having two separate rounds of voting, because some people take much longer than others to vote. I’m eager to hear more about (a) what others do, (b) how well it works, and (c) how they measure how well it works.

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