Blog Carnival 2: “What education research has most influenced your practice?”
I was a bright-tailed and bushy-eyed first timer at ViCE/PHEC 2015, my first national education conference. Chemistry and physics brought together in a wonderful exchange. And exchange they did. I first encountered Peer Instruction in a workshop by Anna Wood and Ross Galloway, where they justified its existence and (this is key) used it on the audience. An audience that contained me, a student educated in a time and a place where educational innovation meant using pictures.
My irrational, emotional enthusiasm for the technique lead me to the evidence for its effectiveness. I started my first ever teaching post at Glasgow University in with enough autonomy to use Peer Instruction as a drop-in enhancement in the middle five minutes of my lectures. And the results were pleasing. An increase in PI quiz scores doesn’t always correlate with learning gain, but the final exam results (and student feedback) supported my gut. Trust, but verify.
Because of my exposure to the results of that educational research, I have never delivered a full lecture without a peer instruction component. I’d call that an influence of practice.
(honourable mention for pre-labs and Jen Evans!)