How to use Peer Instruction
In many ways PI is very easy to use. It does not essentially depend on sophisticated technology, drastic changes to curricula or extensive training on the part of instructors. It does not require a great deal of extra time or money. Once you've understood the basic idea and become convinced of its potential benefits, there's nothing to stop you trying it out straight away, by incorporating one or two quiz questions into your next lecture. The only real difficulty is in thinking up good questions to ask.
That is where the Question Database can come in useful. It provides a collection of well-designed and tested quiz questions, which you are free to download, modify and use straight away in your own classes. There are questions on a wide variety of topics in philosophy, logic, critical thinking and other areas.
If you don't find a question you can use straight away, browsing through the database might nonetheless give you some ideas for the kind of question you could ask in your lecture. You might also want to look at Types of questions you can ask in lectures for some further examples.
So if you think PI might work for you, have a look through the database, download a question or two or write your own and give it a go!
The following pages offer examples and further advice on how to use PI in your lectures:
- Format of lectures
- Voting mechanisms
- Hints and tips on using PI in lectures
- Designing a PI lecture
- An example PI lecture
- Types of question you can ask in lectures
- General advice on writing multiple-choice questions
Peer Instruction in action: students in an introductory philosophy course at Monash University using flash-cards.