Benefits
  • students take ownership of their learning. 
  • students are able to self-evaluate their understanding
    of concepts 
  • applicable across disciplines
  • can be implemented in all class sizes
Instructor
Preparation

Low-Medium:

  • developing topics
  • planning logistics of implementation
    (creating groups, etc.)
Activity Time varies
Student
Participation
pairs, groups
Facilitation
Tips
Pair more advanced students with more novice students.
Assessment low-stakes, formative (participation)

  
With peer instruction, students create meaning, solve problems, etc., with their fellow peers rathe than from the instructor. Peer instruction may be implemented in a course through various strategies, including the jigsaw classroom. Ultimately, during peer instruction, students must be able to comprehend a topic well enough that they are able to explain it to their peers, who in turn are able to comprehend that topic in the same way. Peer instruction is aligned with techniques like think-pair-share; however, think-pair-share is more about collaboration, analysis, and synthesis rather than instruction.

The jigsaw classroom, invented at the University of Texas and the University of California in the early 1970s, is a research-based cooperative learning technique. This 10-step process involves dividing students into groups of 5 or 6, and dividing the class content covered that day similarly into 5 or 6 subtopics. Assign a subtopic to each member of the group, and assign them to learn that specific element. Students then temporarily group together per sub-topic, form a collective response, and then return to their original group to “teach” them about that sub-topic. (For further information, visit www.jigsaw.org/#overview).

An alternative to this method is to ask the question of the students prior to the class or online synchronous session, start the class/session with a peer instruction session, and then determine how and why answers changed when the the instructor asked the question in class a second time.