Category archives for ConcepTests

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to use Peer Instruction to Flip your Classroom

Peer Instruction: A research-based method for flipping your classroom. While “flipping the classroom” may seem like a recent phenomenon, Peer Instruction, developed in the early 1990s, has always elevated that core educational site to a place where much more than information delivery transpires. Backed by more than 20 years of research, PI transforms classrooms from […]

How to find ConcepTests or clicker questions

A common question about Peer Instruction is, where can you find ConcepTests for your discipline? There are a number of databases for ConcepTest (interactive questions) on the web. You can find hundreds of ConcepTests at, for example. When Eric and I are searching for ConcepTests in a particular discipline, we use the following search: […]

Peer Instruction in the Social Sciences

Bob at University of Luxembourg posted a fantastic question on relevant to the social sciences. He asks, “How do you develop ConcepTests for knowledge domains where it’s less obvious what are the established theories, facts and opinions?” First, for those of you who do not know, ConcepTests are short conceptual questions used in Peer Instruction. Once […]