Skip to main content

Science: Why Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance on In-Class Concept Questions

February 4, 2009 by Lisa Jansen

Thinking about using clickers in your classroom? Wondering if peer discussion really helps students increase understanding? Then you’ll want to check out Why Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance on In-Class Concept Questions published in Science on January 2, 2009.

Students pointing clickers at instructorClickers are small, portable devices that students can use to respond to an instructor’s questions. Depending on the system used, the results can be displayed to instructor and students almost instantly. These results can then be used to guide the lecture or discussion.

Peer discussion is a technique in which students discuss concepts in small groups. Clickers can be used to measure student understanding of concepts, and confidence in their understanding, before and after peer discussion.

The authors of the Science article teach undergraduate science courses. However, clickers and peer discussion can be valuable teaching tools for all disciplines.

For more information about using clickers on the UW-Madison campus, please see the UW-Madison eInstruction support site.

Photo by Casey A. Cass, University of Colorado.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes