Category archives for Best Practices

How to describe some flipping techniques on your syllabus

It’s the Saturday before school starts for many of us. If you are anything like me, you have had the syllabus that’s going to transform your students’ lives complete for a full 2 months and are kicking back and relaxing on this fine holiday weekend. Fantasy over. Many people who are deciding to use flipped […]

How to measure if your students are learning in a flipped class

Peer Instruction Network member and Queens University Professor James M. Fraser  has been flipping his undergraduate physics classroom using Peer Instruction for many years. For his “outstanding knowledge, teaching ability and accessibility to students,” Fraser was awarded the 2012 Queens University Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. Fraser talks to Turn to Your Neighbor readers about using his training as […]

What to do on the first day of a flipped class?

School starts in two weeks! For Peer Instruction Network member Rafael Escudero, a professor of mathematics at Universidad del Norte in Baranquilla, Colombia, this reality hit four weeks early. Escudero is one in a small group of innovative faculty transforming their courses at Uninorte under the leadership of Peer Instruction Network member and founding director […]

How to use Peer Instruction…in Computer Science

The image of 25 lone kids with oversized, over-the-ear headphones eschew on their heads, eyes fixed and minds fixated on their computer screens, does not accurately depict today’s computer science classrooms. There is new, and significant, reform movement afoot in computer science that aims to build deep conceptual understanding of big ideas and key computer […]

Choreography of a flipped classroom

How do flipped classrooms work? In a previous post, we wrote about a research-based strategy, Just-in-Time-Teaching, for motivating students to do the work of content coverage out of class. But, what happens in class? Peer Instruction (PI) is the researched-based method we use for targeting depth and uncovering misconceptions and misunderstandings during class. Peer Instruction Network  member Bernado, who teaches Marketing in […]

Does Peer Instruction Work in High Schools? Part 2

Last week, we heard from Peer Instruction Network member, Ryan Campbell, who teaches high school history using Peer Instruction. This is the second part in his 2-part series on how to adapt PI for use in high school settings.  The Ten Non-Commandments for adapting Peer Instruction to the high school setting: Part 2 in a […]

Does Peer Instruction Work in High Schools?

Post by Ryan Campbell with an introduction by Julie Schell, June 2012  Many Peer Instruction Network members wonder if PI works in high schools and how. For example, Andrew from Tomball, Texas wants to know – What does PI look like in high schools and member Janet from Falls Church, Virginia asks, how can PI  be well-integrated in high […]

Confessions of a Peer Instruction Rookie

This week we have a guest Blog post from Peer Instruction Network Member, Dr. Cassandre Alvarado. Turn to Your Neighbor readers will recognize her name  – we have been following Dr. Alvarado this semester, as she taught a graduate education class at The University of Texas at Austin using Peer Instruction for the first time. […]

What is exactly is a ConcepTest?

The centerpiece of Peer Instruction is the ConcepTest, sometimes referred to as a clicker question, other times simply as a question. ConcepTests, however, are more than mere questions. They are the fire, so to speak, that draws students’ attention and calls the students together to engage in the social learning activities that make Peer Instruction […]

How do you manage time in a flipped class?

Peer Instruction Network member (PINm) Arthur, who teaches intro physics at UMass Lowell asks, “what percent of the class time should be used for Peer Instruction?” And network member Mary who teaches nursing at Cayuga Community College asks “is there a specific time frame you find best for question/answer discussions?” How to manage time during […]

How to write and evaluate effective questions: Best Practices in Peer Instruction

One of the most frequently asked questions among Peer Instruction Network members (PINm) is “How do I write good questions?” This ubiquitous question is posed across the spectrum of Peer Instruction implementations – from expert to novice users, from faculty to instructional designers, among different disciplines, and within varying institutional types. PINms David Vakil an […]

How do I get my students to prepare before coming to a flipped class?

In 2 wildly popular blog posts 1 and 2 on the flipped classroom, “notable advocates of the flipped classroom” clarify what is meant by the term. They include Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, who are credited with developing the most prevalent implementation of the flip. In the first post, the 8 advocates write: “In most Flipped Classrooms, […]

Flipping your colleagues’ classrooms

You’re convinced, Peer Instruction works better than lecture. Now, how can you convince your colleagues of the benefits of moving lecture out and learning in to our classrooms? Madeline, a Peer Instruction Network member (PINm) who teaches science at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, warns, “Don’t expect to convince people easily.” Indeed, educational reformers […]

Can you flip large classes?

  The first time I witnessed a flipped classroom with Peer Instruction live was in 2008, in New York, in a two-level lecture hall with a balcony, complete with over 500 students filling the seats. I dutifully jotted down in my researcher field notes: “9:05 AM – all students seem to be playing around with […]

Show me the histogram!: Best practices in Peer Instruction

Late on a Friday afternoon, I stood in front of 30 exhausted graduate students in a social science course I teach at Teachers College, Columbia University. Knowing that I had the perfect thing to perk them up, I excitedly informed them it was “time for a clicker question!” As they ruffled through their book bags […]

To vote or not to vote: Best practices in Peer Instruction

Peer Instruction Network member Dr. Cassandre Alvarado’s graduate classroom at the University of Texas at Austin is so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Her 18 students are sitting around a large oval table, silently staring  at the front of the classroom, but not because they are listening to her lecture. Dr. Alvarado is implementing Peer […]