Peer instruction aims at making the students engage with the core concepts of the lessons individually on their own and then explain the same o their other co-learners. In this type of teaching-learning methodology, the student is made core and control center of a classroom learning setup. The students can get acquainted with the lessons and the teachers prepare a list of a questionnaire for them to discuss and explain the lessons among themselves. With this, it can be assumed that peer instruction is a teaching-learning methodology which makes the teaching-learning process a student/participant-centric.
With peer instruction students become more engaged. Asking the students to choose from a list of options engage them emotionally to the contents of the lesson. It is a type of student learning which involves students preparing for the lessons outside of the class. In the class, the teachers engage the students by asking them conceptual questions that are based on student difficulties.
Components of the method
The process is initiated through assigning a pre-classroom lesson reading. Based on the reading and understanding about the lesson the instructor asks them a set of core questions related to the lessons. The students reply to those questions individually and sometimes into small groups. These answers are reviewed by the instructor and assess their learning. Based on the assessment the teachers engage the students in group discussions and cross-explanations. Thus the concepts and lesson contents are explored to the next level without any much intervention of the teacher. In this way, the teacher is also continuously aware of the direction of the discussion and helps him take decisions relating to the factors which stimulate the right learning experience for the students.
How its done through voting pads?
Voting pads are electronic devices which can be used to retrieve quick and convenient inferences about the students learning. The students are provided with such electronic polling devices which helps them to answer the questions from the instructors in real time. These responses are collected wirelessly to a central PC to quickly analyze and present the inferences related to the lesson and student responses to the teachers which can be subsequently shared to the students and discussed upon it. In this way, we can see that voting pads offer a wide variety of tools to help teachers incorporate peer instruction into their classrooms. The real-time result helps the students to have a self-assessment accurately. The voting devices can be used for questions intelligently broken down from the lesson content to help the students to understand the scope and content of the lessons. This helps the students interact among themselves even without the need for vocal communication. The students love to see comparative graphs with their co-students to understand the right direction to which their efforts should be directed to attain the ultimate goal of a lesson.
Use of voting pads during lecture supports the implementation of Peer Instruction to complement the traditional lecture style. In peer instruction, students first answer a question individually and then discuss the concepts with their peers. Students then answer the same or a similar question again, allowing them to change their answers based on the discussion. Often peer discussion of voting pad questions is an engaging and effective technique that increases student comprehension. If the peer instruction leads to an incorrect solution, then the instructor can discuss and correct the misconception.