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Dean Parmelee


In 1991, a physicist at Harvard University, Dr. Eric Mazur, implemented a new style of classroom learning into his introductory physics courses named Peer Instruction.1 The objective of Peer Instruction (PI) was to engage students in interactive discussion throughout the time spent in the classroom. In the PI format, students were assigned reading that was then tested at the start of each class through a reading quiz. Dr. Mazur then spent the remainder of class quizzing his students with questions that were designed to highlight the important aspects of the material in question. All students were required to participate by first recording individual responses. After their initial response, discussion regarding the answer was allowed between students to force them to again think critically to defend their answer.