Recent Articles

Next Door Innovator: An Interview with Eric Mazur, Developer of Peer Instruction

At Turn To Your Neighbor, we constantly search for new ways to showcase bright ideas and innovation in education. As part of this venture, we have started a new interview series called Next Door Innovator.  Our inaugural interviewee is Professor Eric Mazur, developer of Peer Instruction. Julie Schell: Where was your last education-related speaking engagement and what were you speaking […]

Peer Instruction 3.0 – When students do the teaching…with video

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD  The Neighborhood is a special  Turn To Your Neighbor series where we invite innovative educators from around the globe to discuss a variety of education topics.  In this inaugural post of The Neighborhood, five classroom teachers from across grade levels discuss what happens when students teach each other using video. This strategy […]

Peer Instruction with a Twist of Innovation and a Social Studies Teacher

In our first post of 2014, Peer Instruction Network member, Mr. George Phillip, describes how he moved from a thoughtful teacher to someone who is innovating in his social studies classroom with Flipped Teaching and Peer Instruction. While his unique twists on Peer Instruction evolved from a 5th and 6th grade classroom, they have implications […]

From Flipped Classrooms to Flipping with Peer Instruction

In a recent article on flipped learning in USA Today, Nancy Lape of Harvey Mudd College reports finding no statistical difference in students’ learning in a study comparing a “flipped” and a lecture-based classroom.  She states: “(The professors’) lives might be easier and their students might be happier if they just do a traditional class.” […]

The 6 most common questions about using Peer Instruction, answered

What is Peer Instruction? Peer Instruction is research-based teaching method that leverages the power of social interaction to drive learning. In an ideal implementation of Peer Instruction, students get first exposure to content and complete an assessment of their content understanding before coming to class. In this way, Peer Instruction is a flipped learning approach. […]

Flipping your classroom to meet the common core and other standards

As the new school year commences, most K-12 teachers are faced with the reality of standards-based grading and the hurdle of having to cover ridiculous amounts of material in what feels like a nanosecond.   While standards-based grading is primarily a phenomena in the K-12 realm, college and university teachers are moving toward similar curricular approaches, […]

Flipped Classrooms 101 – A self-paced, short course

You’ve all met the Boredom Monster. He’s that big blob lurking around our classrooms, poking students in the sides with his slimy fingers for attention and vexing us as we try with all our might to teach content in engaging and inspiring ways.  Flipped teaching can trap the Boredom Monster before he infiltrates your classroom […]

3 easy ways to use clickers and Peer Instruction in the Arts and Humanities

On June 3, 2013 I sat in a room at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany at a Turning Technologies User Conference.  The room was quiet as we listened to Christopher Wiley, the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the City University London and expert in musicology, explain how an off the cuff decision to use classroom […]

8 tips for transitioning to clickers when flipping your class with Peer Instruction

In a 2008 paper, physicist and former Mazur postdoctoral fellow, Nathaniel Lasry demonstrated a surprising result from a study on classroom response systems (CRS) in a Peer Instruction (PI) environment. Lasry’s result? Despite the rapid scaling of high-tech CRS, such as clickers, their use in his undergraduate physics classroom did not seem to influence learning outcomes over less-techy alternatives, such […]

A two minute video shows the power of using Peer Instruction to flip your classroom

Looking for ways to engage your students during class time in a flipped classroom? Something that addresses the wide diversity of preparation among students in your class and works to improve student achievement and  problem solving ability? Backed by 20 years of research, Peer Instruction is my favorite way to engage students in class when using a flipped […]

What is a flipped classroom? (in 60 seconds)

What is a flipped classroom? Last week, I plopped down for Sunday brunch in New York City with some non-edu obsessed friends and acquaintances I had not seen in a long time.  About 10 seconds after our formal greetings, the person sitting across from me leaned forward and said, “So…not to be too business like, […]

The 2 most powerful flipped classroom tips I have learned so far

Won’t students skip my class if my lectures are available online? This is a question that comes up often in the world of higher education, where class attendance is usually not compulsory.  One fine day early Fall of 2012, I took this question with me on my walk from my office in the University of […]

Learn to do something innovative inside your flipped classroom

“If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom.” John Medina, Brain Rules In a flip class, educators have dedicated a lot of attention and valiant effort to redesigning approaches to direct classroom instruction (e.g. lecture) […]

A simple out-of-class assignment that could have big pay off in a flipped class

Peer Instruction Network member Claire, a K-12 English teacher from Michigan, worries that far too many of her students are falling through the cracks.  She is looking for ways to reach them.  Could student-generated questions be one possible low-threshold intervention?  This post digs into this question.  However, if you are looking for a quick protocol for student-generated questions, […]

How learning works in Peer Instruction and Learning Catalytics

March 11, 2013 @julieschell Many teachers are using Peer Instruction and classroom response systems (CRSs) to flip their classrooms and to engage students in deep learning and subject-matter understanding. After trying a range of CRSs throughout his career, in 2011 Eric Mazur teamed up with Brian Lukoff and Gary King at Harvard University to develop Learning […]

How to FLIP your class…in 4 basic steps

FLIP in 4 Steps Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no “ONE way to flip a class” (Bergmann, 2012).  However, after visiting flipped classrooms all over North America and talking with lots of teachers who have tried flipping across the globe, I have come to view the cycle of flipping as occurring through a […]

How to evaluate students’ effort on out-of-class work in a flipped class

Flipped classrooms require students to take responsibility for their own learning outside of class.  Our favorite method for motivating students to engage in out-of-class work is Just-in-Time Teaching. The method is remarkably flexible: We implement JiTT as follows, but you can hack our approach–that is make it your own–in a number of ways. 4 Steps to Implementing […]

7 Myths about the flipped classroom, an interactive question series

  Read this post in Spanish OR Portuguese.  Like any popular phenomena, as the flipped classroom continues to gain attention, myths about it spreads freely. In this interactive series, we introduce and debunk 7 myths through a set of opinion polls. If you want a quick introduction to the flipped classroom, check out this 60 […]

One easy way to make readings come alive for your students

Want to make the subject matter come alive for your students? Most of us do. This is easier when we are in the classroom and can interact with students one on one and react to their blank stares when we are talking nonsense.  But what about when they are at home? In a recent conversation […]

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