Peer Instruction was developed in the 1990s by Eric Mazur of Harvard. Peer Instruction is a very formatted lecture style that provides students with constant formative assessment.
Students *do not* learn by being talked to. They learn by solving problems and engaging in critical thinking. Peer Instruction guides students through problem solving and critical thinking. A typical Peer Instruction class session might look like the following:
- 3-5 minute lecture
- Multiple choice question posed to the classroom
- Students answer individually
- Students given 2-4 minutes to discuss with their neighbors
- Students answer as a group (typically 3 to a group)
- Instructor discusses the question
This particular structure is important to the success of a peer instruction classroom.