The Effectiveness of Peer Instruction in Principles of Economics
Peer instruction is an instructional technique with both in- and out-of-class components. The in-class component emphasizes students working in teams and teaching each other to solve problems. The effectiveness of this approach was evaluated in Principles of Economics by using paired sets of isomorphic (similar) questions. Students were given the first question of the pair to answer individually, but no answer was revealed. Then they were asked to answer the same question after consultation with their “learning partners,” and again no answer was revealed. Finally they were asked to answer the second question of the pair individually (sometimes in low-stakes settings in class and other times in high-stakes settings on exams). The increase in the number of correct answers as they progressed from question to question was a measure of the effectiveness of peer instruction.