PSYC 400 Lecture 5: PI

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29 Dec 2020
Department
Course
Professor
Instructional Workshop: Peer Instruction (PI)
Seven steps…
1. Instructor poses conceptual question (ConcepTest)
2. Give students time to think
3. Students report answers
4. Students convince neighbours of answer (peer instruction)
5. Students report revised answers
6. Teacher tallies new responses
7. Explanation of correct and wrong options
Topic readings completed before class, questions dispersed throughout lecture
Students not graded on performance (low-stakes) but secure commitment to one answer so can
take in constructive feedback
o Anonymity of responses helps with comfort while increasing metacognitive awareness,
good for giving instructors feedback
Active learning on students’ behalf but instructors still have important role to play
Retrieval of information from reading/lecture decreases anxiety, incentivizes students
Scaffolding pre-class readings prepare, class material connects new information, ConcepTests
provide more practice and feedback
o Important to incentivize prep-work so students able to participate effectively
Questions should focus on higher-order thinking, be MC with distractors around common
misconceptions of larger concepts effective when correct answers between 35-70% of class
Strengths:
o Flexible classes of all sizes, lots of disciplines, instruction adapted to student responses
o Simple easy to understand, no training required
o Effective conceptual learning; transfer knowledge to novel problems; domain-general
problem-solving skills; increases retention; academic interest and self-efficacy
Weaknesses:
o Potential conformity, maybe more beneficial for high- than low-achieving students
o Student characteristics outgoing vs. shy, going off-track
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