Peer Instruction in Computer Science
In the past decade, Peer Instruction has become established as a best practice in teaching computer science. In this talk, I will first explore the evidence which led to Peer Instruction becoming a best practice, specifically looking at the research demonstrating Peer Instruction is valued by students in a diverse set of CS courses at a diverse set of institutions, results in in-class learning from peers and the instructor, reduces failure rates by 67%, results in better final exam performance, contributes to a 31% increase in 1-year major retention, and may scale better than traditional lecture as class sizes increase. Next, I’ll discuss the next wave of research using Peer Instruction as rich source of student data. This work has shown that data naturally collected while teaching using Peer Instruction can be used to identify students at-risk of failure in introductory CS courses early in the term. Ongoing work seeks to increase identification accuracy and to explore possible interventions for students.