Getting the Most Out of Peer Instruction (with Clickers!)

Looking for a detailed guide to provoking rich, focused discussions among students in your courses, even large ones? Peter Newbury of UC San Diego has a great set of procedures and recommendations for how to use audience response tools like i>clicker to do just that.

“Peer instruction is a powerful, evidence-based instructional strategy that supports active learning in all sizes of classes. Typically in peer instruction, every 15-20 minutes,

  1. the instructor poses a conceptually challenging, multiple choice question
  2. students think about the question on their own and vote for one of the choices using some kind of audience response tool
  3. students turn to their neighbors and discuss the question and their answers
  4. students may vote a second time, depending on the nature of the question
  5. the instructor leads a class-wide discussion where students share their thinking, finishing with
  6. the instructor models expert-like thinking and confirms why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong”

Interested in using i>clicker in your class? See i>clicker – Audience Response System, or contact the UMass IT Instructional Media Lab (413-545-2823 or

For even more ideas on how to use clickers, see i>clicker: Transforming Student Learning through Technology- A Presentation by Dr. Mats Selen


┬áImage credit – Penn State 2014 (CC BY 2.0)