22 SES 04 JS, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Paper Session, Joint Session NW 22 and NW 24
To sustain the paradigm change concerning pedagogical challenge due to Bologna process has been a target of Higher Education institutions. This objective is still important as these institutions prepare themselves for the 2020 Horizon (Europa, 2020). This requires work with students which does not only refer to a final assessment and certification but is capable of developing and fitting its working methods to promote students development. It is in such context that peer instruction appears as a strategy which is able to promote a more significant and lasting learning for the students involved.
Some of the biggest challenges to pedagogical practices is still the lack of motivation of students in the learning of the content (Pinto et al, 2012). This lack of motivation may be explained by the organization of the teaching models which are still linked to passive forms of transmission which at times give out a message which is disconnected from and without meaning for students. The promotion of meaningful learning above all requires a teaching methodology which leaves room for the student to become involved as a protagonist in their own learning with an increasingly active role distanced from the concept of their being mere receptacles for the content (Dioso-Henson, 2012). From this arise active learning methodologies which favor the realization of this process of change.
The pedagogical method of the Peer Instruction arises as a tool which is based on the understanding and the application of conceptual type learning, itself based on discussion between the students (between equals)as described by Crouch and Mazur (1997).The method is found to result in a better learning outcome than are class-wide discussions (Schmidt, 2011). This teaching methodology seeks to distance itself from traditional teaching methods which as a rule reduce the students to a passive role by introducing a greater degree of interaction to the classroom. With this method it is hoped that there will be interaction between the students so that there is mutual teaching and learning about the concepts to be studied which then are applied to the conceptual matters set out which are translated into greater active involvement in their own learning. (Pinto et al, 2012.
It is in this context that Peer Instruction becomes a strategy which is capable of promoting more meaningful and longer lasting learning for the students involved which is based on the interaction which in turn implies a verbalization and discussion of the concepts acquired. Research suggests that this type of cooperative learning environment can help promote deeper learning, as well as greater interest and motivation (Gok, 2011). Simultaneously Peer Instruction also supports the students in the development of their meta-cognitive capacities as soon as they have managed to verify and recognize when they have failed to understand a concept or where they are unable to explain a topic or concept to their peers during the discussion period.
However, in introductory courses, meaning those that are making the transition between the knowledge acquired during students’ secondary education and higher education, as well as they are transversal (included in various engineering courses), the temptation to go deeper in the subject matter doesn’t aloud time enough for contextualize previous knowledge. Therefore, it is possible to claim for a relationship between the use of the Peer Instruction methodological approach and the students’ improvement of conceptual understanding of subject matters, namely in introductory and transversal. This study aims to establish to what extent this improvement is effective, it is related with enhancing students’ motivation and remains after peer instruction episodes.
Crouch, C.. & Mazur, E (2001). Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results. American Journal of Physics, 69 (9), 970-977. Cummings, K & Roberts, S.. (2008). A study of Peer Instruction Methods with School Physics Students. C. Henderson, M. Sabella & L. Hsu (ed). Physics Education Research Conference (pp. 103-106). sl. American Institute of Physics. Dioso-Henson, L. ( 2012). The effect of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring and non-Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on the performance of students in college physics. Research in education, 97, pp 34-49. Europe 2020, A Europe Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, European Commission, March 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/C OMPLET%20EN%20BARROSO%20%20%20007%20- %20Europe%202020%20-%20EN%20version.pdf Gok, T (2011). The Impact of Peer Instruction on College Students’ Beliefs about Physics and Conceptual Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (10): 417-436. Nóvoa, A. ( 2011). Intervenção. 3ª Conferência Nacional do Ensino Superior e da Investigação. Lisboa, 4 e 5 de Novembro ( texto policopiado) Pinto, A., Bueno, M., Silva, M., Sellmann, M., & Koehler, S. (2012). Inovação Didática – Projeto de Reflexão e Aplicação de Metodologias Ativas de Aprendizagem no Ensino Superior: Uma Experiencia com “Peer Instruction”, 15. Schmidt, B (2011). Teaching engineering dynamics by use of peer instruction supported by an audience response system. European Journal of Engineering Education, 36(5):413-423.
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