Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions
M.K. Smith 2009 Science v. 323, p. 122-124
When students answer an in-class conceptual question individually using clickers, discuss
it with their neighbors, and then revote on the same question, the percentage of correct answers
typically increases. This outcome could result from gains in understanding during discussion, or
simply from peer influence of knowledgeable students on their neighbors. To distinguish between these alternatives in an undergraduate genetics course, we followed the above exercise with a second, similar (isomorphic) question on the same concept that students answered individually. Our results indicate that peer discussion enhances understanding, even when none of the students in a discussion group originally knows the correct answer.