BEST PRACTICES FOR RUNNING
PEER INSTRUCTION WITH CLICKERS
Peter Newbury
Center for Teaching Development,
University of Cal...
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers2
student-centered instructiontraditional lecture
Breaking News!
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers3
Freeman et al. (2014) conducted a massive meta-
analysis...
Student-centered instruction
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers4
peer instruction with clickers
interactive...
Let’s try it…
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers5
 Don’t get (too) distracted by the content of the
questi...
Astronomy class
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers6
We’re in an astronomy survey course. We’ve just
finishe...
Clicker question
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers7
This is the phase of the Moon when it rises:
What is t...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
The instructor needs to run the peer instruction in...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
1. Present the question. Don’t read it aloud.
Reaso...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
2. “Please answer this on your own.”
Goals of the f...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
2. “Please answer this on your own.”
Students may b...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
3. Give the students sufficient time to make a choi...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
4. Count down and close the poll
When almost all th...
Analytical vs. Argumentation skills
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers14
solo vote
pose question
Analytical...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
5. Initiate small group discussions: “Please turn t...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
6. Wander around the room, listening to the
convers...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
7. When it starts to get quiet and/or you notice
st...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
8. Now you can display the histogram if it will hel...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
9a. Correct answer is the clear
winner.
Ok, well do...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
9b. No clear winner.
Ok, this was a harder one, we
...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
9c. If you’re not sure what to do, you’re never wro...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
10. At the end, confirm the answer(s) and continue ...
Analytical vs. Argumentation skills
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers23
solo vote
pose question
Analytical...
History
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers24
According to Augustine, which do you think was the most
signif...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
4. Count down and close the poll
When almost all th...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
5. Initiate small group discussions: “Please turn t...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
6. Wander around the room, listening to the
convers...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
7. When it starts to get quiet and/or you notice
st...
Clicker choreography
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
8. Facilitate a class discussion, prompting student...
Peer instruction takes time!
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers
30
Where does that time come from?
(Image: ...
Traditional classroom
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers31
 first exposure to material is in class, conten...
learn easy
stuff alone
Flipped classroom
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers32
 student learns easy content...
2 hours in 140 characters (or less)
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers33
Effective #peerinstruction is a ve...
Resources
Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers34
1. Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambr...
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Best practices for running peer instruction

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Peter Newbury
30 May 2014
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Best practices for running peer instruction

  1. 1. BEST PRACTICES FOR RUNNING PEER INSTRUCTION WITH CLICKERS Peter Newbury Center for Teaching Development, University of California, San Diego pnewbury@ucsd.edu @polarisdotca ctd.ucsd.edu #peerinstructionCSULA Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:00 – 12:50 pm Center Hall, Room 316
  2. 2. Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers2 student-centered instructiontraditional lecture
  3. 3. Breaking News! Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers3 Freeman et al. (2014) conducted a massive meta- analysis (an analysis of other analyses): compared to traditional lectures, students in active-learning classrooms  score 6% higher on tests and concept inventories  are1.5 times less likely to fail / withdraw “If the experiments analyzed here had been conducted as randomized controlled trials of medical interventions, they may have been stopped for benefit—meaning that enrolling patients in the control condition might be discontinued because the treatment being tested was clearly more beneficial.”
  4. 4. Student-centered instruction Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers4 peer instruction with clickers interactive demonstrations surveys of opinions reading quizzes worksheets discussions videos
  5. 5. Let’s try it… Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers5  Don’t get (too) distracted by the content of the questions: this is not a test of your knowledge!  Try to be aware of how the peer instruction is “choreographed” – we’ll talk lots about it afterwards
  6. 6. Astronomy class Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers6 We’re in an astronomy survey course. We’ve just finished a worksheet on the phases of the Moon.
  7. 7. Clicker question Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers7 This is the phase of the Moon when it rises: What is the phase of the Moon 12 hours later? (Adapted from Ed Prather) A B D C E
  8. 8. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers The instructor needs to run the peer instruction in a way that gives students sufficient time to 1. think, 2. discuss, and 3. resolve the concepts. We want students to focus all of their precious cognitive load on the concept. We don’t want them wasting any of it wondering, “What am I supposed to do now?” 8
  9. 9. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 1. Present the question. Don’t read it aloud. Reasons for not reading the question aloud: • your voice may give away key features or even the answer • you might read the question you hoped to ask, not the words that are actually there • the students are not listening anyway – they’re trying to read it themselves and your voice may, in fact, distract them 9
  10. 10. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 2. “Please answer this on your own.” Goals of the first, solo vote is to get the students • to commit to a choice in their own minds • curious about the answer • prepared to have a discussion with their peers If they discuss the question right away: • students are making choices based on someone else’s reasoning • those students cannot contribute to the peer instruction as they have no ideas of their own 10
  11. 11. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 2. “Please answer this on your own.” Students may be reluctant to quietly think on their own. After all, they have a better chance of picking the right choice after talking to their friends. If you’re going to impose a certain behaviour on the students, getting their “buy-in” is critical. Explain to them why the solo vote is so important. Explain it to them early in the term and remind them when they start drifting to immediate discussions. www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/SEI_video.html 11
  12. 12. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 3. Give the students sufficient time to make a choice. What is sufficient? • Turn to the screen, read and answer the question as if you are one of your students. If applicable, model how to answer about the question by “acting it out.” Alternatives: • keep facing the class, watching for confused stares and/or and satisfied smiles • when you notice students picking up their clickers and getting restless, they are prepared to vote. Don’t make it a game of “beat the clock.” 12
  13. 13. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 4. Count down and close the poll When almost all the votes are in, say, “Final votes, please, in 5…4…3…2…1…Thank-you!” and close the poll. Don’t wait for every last student to vote. Some may be choosing not to vote. 13
  14. 14. Analytical vs. Argumentation skills Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers14 solo vote pose question Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes) Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  15. 15. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 5. Initiate small group discussions: “Please turn to your neighbors and convince them you’re right.” Don’t display the histogram: if the students see it, they tend to argue for the popular choice on the 2nd vote even if it’s not the answer they feel is correct. Students may not know how to “discuss” the question so give them direction: “…convince them you’re right.” 15 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  16. 16. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 6. Wander around the room, listening to the conversations. o Avoid joining conversations – this is their time to talk, not yours. o Listen for misconceptions, places where students get stuck – these nuggets of student thinking are your source for improving the questions, clarifying the questions, etc. 16 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  17. 17. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 7. When it starts to get quiet and/or you notice students starting to disengage or talk about other things, collect the 2nd vote: “Group vote, please!” Start the poll. “Last call on the group vote. I’m closing the poll in 5…4…3…2…1…thank-you!” Stop the poll. 17 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  18. 18. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 8. Now you can display the histogram if it will help, not hinder, the discussion. Depending on their votes, you have several choices for guiding the discussion… 18 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes) The students had an opportunity to practice talking about the problem. They’ve received formative feedback from their peers. They’re more confident and ready to join the class- wide discussion.
  19. 19. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 9a. Correct answer is the clear winner. Ok, well done, B is correct but…  why might A be tempting?  why might someone think it could be E?  could someone explain why D is wrong?  (possible follow-up question) How would be change the question so that A is right? 19 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  20. 20. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 9b. No clear winner. Ok, this was a harder one, we need to look at all the options…  what reasoning would someone use for A (repeat for all popular choices)  if you changed your vote, what did you discuss in your group? 20 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  21. 21. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 9c. If you’re not sure what to do, you’re never wrong asking, What did your group talk about? 21 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  22. 22. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 10. At the end, confirm the answer(s) and continue with the class. Even if more than 80–90% of the students have picked the correct choice, some students may still not sure why that choice is correct. You must confirm the correct choice: • briefly recap why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong • allows students who chose the right answer to make sure they had the correct reasoning 22 Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes)
  23. 23. Analytical vs. Argumentation skills Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers23 solo vote pose question Analytical (typically one right answer) (STEM classes) Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  24. 24. History Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers24 According to Augustine, which do you think was the most significant event in his conversion to Christianity? Be prepared to defend your choice with evidence from the readings. A) Corporal punishments as a school-boy B) Student years of follies (studies and promiscuity) C) Stealing the pears from the neighbor’s tree D) Death of his classmate/friend (Keller-Lapp UCSD) Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  25. 25. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 4. Count down and close the poll When almost all the votes are in, say, “Final votes, please, in 5…4…3…2…1…Thank-you!” and close the poll. Don’t wait for every last student to vote. Some may be choosing not to vote. 25 Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  26. 26. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 5. Initiate small group discussions: “Please turn to your neighbors and explain to them why you made the choice you did.” Don’t display the histogram: if the students see it, they may be reluctant to support an unpopular (though still correct) choice. All choices might be correct. Each student practices supporting an argument with evidence. 26 Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  27. 27. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 6. Wander around the room, listening to the conversations. o Avoid joining conversations – this is their time to talk, not yours. o Listen for misconceptions, places where students get stuck – these nuggets of student thinking are your source for improving the questions, clarifying the questions, etc. 27 Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  28. 28. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 7. When it starts to get quiet and/or you notice students starting to disengage or talk about other things… Show the histogram – this is the signal to the students that a discussion is about to begin. 28 Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci)
  29. 29. Clicker choreography Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 8. Facilitate a class discussion, prompting students to share  which answer they chose  what evidence they have to support that choice (for example, citing readings) 29 Argumentation (all choices may be correct) (Art & Humanities, Soc Sci) Create a “summary” slide to show after, with each point or argument + evidence you wanted covered. If the students get to all of them, great. If not, you can briefly add anything that was missed.
  30. 30. Peer instruction takes time! Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers 30 Where does that time come from? (Image: Ready steady go by purplemattfish on flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
  31. 31. Traditional classroom Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers31  first exposure to material is in class, content is transmitted from instructor to student  learning occurs later when student struggles alone to complete homework, essay, project learn easy stuff together learn hard stuff alone transfer assimilate
  32. 32. learn easy stuff alone Flipped classroom Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers32  student learns easy content at home: definitions, basis skills, simple examples. Frees up class time for...  students come to class prepared to tackle challenging concepts in class, with immediate feedback from peers, instructor learn hard stuff together transfer assimilate
  33. 33. 2 hours in 140 characters (or less) Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers33 Effective #peerinstruction is a versatile, student- centered activity for teaching expert-like thinking
  34. 34. Resources Best Practices for Peer Instruction with Clickers34 1. Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2. Peer instruction resources from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the Univ. of British Columbia : http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/clickers.htm 3. Videos by the Science Education Initiative at the Univ. of Colorado (Boulder) provide excellent background for using clickers: http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/SEI_video.html 4. Peer Instruction network blog.peerinstruction.net
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