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Conferences & lectures

Teaching & Learning Winter Festival: Eric Mazur II

Peer Instruction

Friday, February 1, 2013
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

This event is free


1455 De Maisonneuve W.
Room Room 763



Peer instruction is a research-based pedagogy that actively engages students in the classroom and has been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding, even in large classes. The basic goals of peer instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students’ attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer instruction is now used in a wide range of courses. In this workshop, participants will learn about peer instruction, serve as the "class" in which peer instruction is demonstrated, discuss several models for implementing the technique into the classroom, and learn about available teaching resources. While successfully implementing peer instruction doesn’t require any technology, using the right technology can improve student engagement, increase learning, and make it easier to implement peer instruction in your classroom.

Eric Mazur

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University. He is author or co-author of 252 scientific publications and 12 patents. He has also written on education and is the author of Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual (Prentice Hall, 1997), a book that explains how to teach large lecture classes interactively. In 2006 he helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching.

In 2008 Mazur received the Esther Hoffman Beller award from the Optical Society of America and the Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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