Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars
Preparing to Teach 3:
Active Learning Strategies
May 26 and 27, 2016
Name Course Dept/School
Summer I or II # students
Scholarly Approach to Teaching
Science Education Initiative
formative & summative assessment
student-centered instruction traditional instruction
think pair share (TPS)
peer instruction with clickers
What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
surveys of opinions
Think-Pair-Share (European History)
To what extent is should governments intervene
when a population is actively being persecuted?
What is the role of government in promoting
equality and tranquility between majority and
minority groups within its populations?
Write down your response on your card.
Then discuss it with your neighbors.
(Emily Goodman, UC San Diego)
Think Pair Share (TPS)
1. poses interesting question or thought prompt
2. asks each student to think and write thoughts
on an index card
3. invites students to pair with a neighbor to
discuss their thinking
4. moderates class-wide discussion where
students share their thinking with the entire
(TPS can be source for peer instruction questions next time you teach.)
(Question: Sujatha Raghu from Braincandy via LearningCatalytics)
(Image: CIM9926 by number657 on flickr CC)
Melt chocolate over low heat. Remove the
chocolate from the heat. What will happen to the
A) It will condense.
B) It will evaporate.
C) It will freeze.
Typical Episode of Peer Instruction
1. Instructor poses a conceptually-challenging
2. Students think about question on their own
and vote (clickers, colored ABCD cards,)
3. Instructor asks students to turn to their
neighbors and convince them youre right.
4. After that peer instruction, students may
5. Instructor leads a class-wide discussion
concluding with why the right answer(s) is
right and the wrong answers are wrong.
clarity Students waste no effort trying to figure out
whats being asked.
context Is this topic currently being covered in class?
Does the question make students do the right
things to demonstrate they grasp the concept?
distractors What do the wrong answers tell you about
difficulty Is the question too easy? too hard?
Will the question engage the students and
spark thoughtful discussions? Are there
openings for you to continue the discussion?
What makes a good question?
Peer Instruction - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu 11
(Adapted from Stephanie Chasteen, CU Boulder)
Make up a TPS prompt or peer
instruction question for your
Remember, the goal is to spark expert-like
thinking and communicating.
Think very carefully about points-of-view, ways
of thinking, misconceptions you want to hear in
the students discussions. Use the thought
prompt and question choices to drive the
Share your question with your neighbors
Anticipate the responses
What do you think the students will think?
How do you think the students will vote?
Anticipate one or two scenarios and plan how
If you anticipate the discussions
will not go where you want them,
revise the thought prompt or question choices.
Setting up and supporting your
course on TritonEd (TED)
Watch the blog
for details about what you should do to
prepare for next weeks meeting.
1. Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design.
2. Sadler, P. M., Sonnert, G., Coyle, H. P., Cook-Smith, N., & Miller, J. L.
(2013). The influence of teachers knowledge on student learning
in middle school physical science classrooms. American Educational
Research Journal, 50(5), 1020-1049.