Tuesday, January 18, 2000
2000 AAPT Winter Meeting (Kissimmee, FL)
Peer Instruction, a teaching strategy in which lectures are interspersed with short, conceptual questions (""ConcepTests""), is used widely in introductory physics and other classes at the college and secondary school levels. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that many instructors achieve success, there has been no previous systematic study of the factors contributing to the effectiveness of Peer Instruction. We administered a comprehensive survey of nearly 700 Peer Instruction users worldwide, gathering data on implementation and outcomes in a wide variety of settings and institutions. We present a demographic portrait of Peer Instruction users and data on enhancement of student understanding. We also examine those implementation features that generally lead to success, such as requiring before-class reading, selecting ConcepTests of appropriate difficulty, and fostering a non-competitive classroom environment.