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8 tips for transitioning to clickers when flipping your class with Peer Instruction May 28, 2013

Posted by aquillam in Science, teaching.

“It’s not the technology that’s important, it’s the pedagogy.” If you do decide to go high tech, it’s important to get it right, and this post has good tips for doing that.

Turn to Your Neighbor: The Official Peer Instruction Blog

In a 2008 paper, physicist and former Mazur postdoctoral fellow, Nathaniel Lasry demonstrated a surprising result from a study on classroom response systems (CRS) in a Peer Instruction (PI) environment. Lasry’s result? Despite the rapid scaling of high-tech CRS, such as clickers, their use in his undergraduate physics classroom did not seem to influence learning outcomes over less-techy alternatives, such as flashcards.

Indeed, Lasry found that when it came to performance on 1) the Force Concept Inventory, a common standardized test in physics, and 2) end of term exams, there was no statistically significant difference between the class section using flashcards (n=34) and a separate class section using clickers (n=41). Lasry, who is a PI expert, was the instructor for both courses. To note: the sample size was quite small, and the study has not been replicated with a larger group.

What wasn’t a surprise in Lasyr’s study, however, was that PI “is an…

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