SICSA DVF Professor Beth Simon; Workshop: Designing Peer Instruction Questions for Learning (not assessment)

Date(s) - 05/09/2014
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Room 422, Alwyn Williams Building, School of Computing Science

Workshop: Designing Peer Instruction Questions for Learning (not assessment)

As computing educators, we often have little experience with and even less love for multiple-choice questions. Expertise in our discipline is based on problem-solving, analysis of trade-offs, etc. – but not on memorization. However, the efficacy of the Peer Instruction pedagogy is predicated on “good” multiple-choice questions (asking students to discuss how many pints they had at the pub last night would not be expected to support learning of binary search trees).

What makes a good Peer Instruction question? One that is hard, but not too hard. One that draws students into discussion. One students can LEARN from. How does one write such a beast? Unfortunately there’s little literature and no algorithm. In this workshop, we’ll:

• compare and contrast no-so-good and better PI questions used in university Computer Science courses
• introduce a scaffolding to support development of “good” PI questions
• share and discuss PI questions developed by my colleagues and available on

If you are interested in attending this workshop and also the talk taking place at 12pm, please RSVP here, so we can plan both lunch and materials targeting your courses:


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