Peer Instruction ConceptTests: Developing Community Resources to Support Scientific Study of Teaching

Leaders: Beth Simon and Quintin Cutts

Wednesday Aug 10: 8:30-2:30

No Cost, Application Required (July 22)

As we’ll hear in the keynote, through the development of accepted assessment items (e.g. the Force Concept Inventory), physics faculty are enabled to take a scientific approach to the study of teaching and learning in their classrooms. Peer Instruction is a pedagogical technique which was developed when one physics professor used the FCI to study his own class, and found himself dissatisfied. Should computing instructors be similarly dissatisfied? How would we know?*

Using Peer Instruction’s focus on conceptual understanding, we seek to bring together a group of researchers interested in developing and studying assessment items getting at the conceptual heart of a range of computing courses.

This is NOT a workshop JUST for people interested in adopting Peer Instruction in their courses. Interest in adopting Peer Instruction is NOT required.

If you are interested in:

  1. Developing, vetting, and/or trialing core conceptual questions in specific areas (e.g., data structures, networks).
  2. Exploring instructor beliefs about student conceptual challenges in computing and/or the effectiveness of current instructional practices

then this is a workshop for you.

To register for the workshop, before July 22, complete this survey, which asks you to create one “concepTest” for an important concept in one of the courses that you teach. ConcepTest questions should

a) be expressible on a single PPT slide, with between 3-5 multiple choice solution options, with distractors based on common student misunderstandings
b) require deep understanding to answer, not merely recall or simple application of a principle
c) inspire interesting discussion

Register at:

*Though the McCracken and Leeds ITiCSE Working Groups shed some light here…

Beth Simon