Peer Instruction in Computer Science at Small Liberal Arts Colleges
Peer Instruction (PI) has been shown to be successful at improving pass-rates and improving retention of majors in large classes at large research-intensive institutions. At these institutions, students have been shown to learn from peer discussion in PI and both students and faculty have reported that they value PI in their classrooms. However, little is known about the effectiveness of PI in small classrooms at teaching-focused liberal arts colleges. This study evaluates results from seven lower-division classes and four upper-division classes taught at three different liberal arts institutions using PI. In these classes, PI experienced similar success as that reported at large research intensive universities, both in terms of student learning from peer discussion and from student attitudinal surveys. Most notably, of 137 surveyed students, 91% recommend more faculty use PI in their classes.
Porter, Leo, Saturnino Garcia, John Glick, Andrew Matusiewicz, and Cynthia Taylor. "Peer Instruction in Computer Science at Small Liberal Arts Colleges." In Proceedings of ITICSE (July 2013), p. 129-134.
Association for Computing Machinery
Peer instruction, Active learning, Liberal Arts colleges