Indicates a research-demonstrated benefit


Small group discussion of conceptual questions interspersed with lectures, increasing engagement and providing formative feedback on student thinking.

Type of Method Instructional strategy
Level Designed for: Intro College Calculus-basedReferences coming soon, Intro College Algebra-basedReferences coming soon
Can be adapted for: High SchoolReferences coming soon, IntermediateReferences coming soon, Upper-level UndergraduateReferences coming soon, Teacher Prep Course, Teacher Professional Development, Intro College Conceptual, Graduate School
Setting Designed for: Lecture - Large (30+ students)References coming soon
Can be adapted for: Lecture - Small (<30 students)References coming soon, Recitation/Discussion SessionReferences coming soon, Studio
Coverage Many topics with less depth, Requires more in-depth coverage of individual topics than a traditional lecture, so lecture cannot cover as many topics, but it is still possible to cover a lot of material by assigning reading and/or homework on topics not covered in lecture.
Topics Mechanics, Electricity / Magnetism, Waves / Optics, Thermal / Statistical, Modern / Quantum, Mathematical, Astronomy, Other Science, Pedagogy
Instructor Effort Low, (If suitable ConcepTests are already available, "low" is appropriate; if the instructor needs to write his/her own ConcepTests, then it requires more effort. There are many databases of ConcepTests in a wide variety of subjects.)
Resource Needs Multiple choice questions and polling method. A projector, clickers, and TAs/LAs are helpful but not required.
Skills Designed for: Conceptual understandingReferences coming soon
Can be adapted for: Problem-solving skillsReferences coming soon, Making real-world connections, Using multiple representations, Metacognition
Research Validation Based on research into: theories of how students learnReferences coming soon
Demonstrated to improve: conceptual understandingReferences coming soon, problem-solving skillsReferences coming soon, beliefs and attitudesReferences coming soon, attendanceReferences coming soon, retention of studentsReferences coming soon
Studied using: student interviewsReferences coming soon, classroom observationsReferences coming soon, research at multiple institutionsReferences coming soon, research by multiple groupsReferences coming soon, peer-reviewed publicationReferences coming soon
Compatible Methods PhET, UW Tutorials, JiTT, Ranking Tasks, ILDs, CGPS, Physlets, Context-Rich Problems, RealTime Physics, TIPERs, ABP Tutorials, SCALE-UP, OSP, SDI Labs, OST Tutorials, Thinking Problems, Workbook for Introductory Physics, LA Program, CAE TPS, Lecture-Tutorials, Astro Ranking Tasks, MBL, New Model Course, CPU, SCL, TEFA, CU Modern, CU E&M, CU QM, QuILTs, IQP, Thermal Tutorials, Mechanics Tutorials, Paradigms, Tools for Scientific Thinking, PI QM, M&I, Tutorials, Clickers, MOP, Responsive Teaching
Similar Methods ILDs, Workbook for Introductory Physics, CAE TPS, TEFA, PI QM, Clickers
Developer(s) Eric Mazur, Catherine H. Crouch, and colleagues
Intro Article Peer Instruction: Engaging Students One-on-One, All at Once