Thomas Adewumi University Academicians went on a voyage of learning today. All academic giants and early-career lecturers of the institution attended a virtual training hosted by Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa (chairman, Association of MIT trained African University Lecturers) & moderated by Dr. David Etor (Dept. Of Elect/Electronics Engineering, University of Jos). The training was centered on “Peer Instruction” as a proven effective way of teaching by Harvard’s Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Eric Mazur.
He started by sharing some of his early-career experiences, one of which was realizing that the long-adopted method of teaching was simply students regurgitating what is being dished out directly, without the students having to do any critical thinking.
Eric shared that he discovered the peer instruction method of lecturing by chance and concluded after its application that it is a more effective way for students to learn. He demonstrated a practical example of Peer Instruction during the training. The Professor of Physics and Applied Physics gave a short exercise in which he displayed a question and asked participants to choose their preferred answer from the provided options. He then displayed the poll of responses. After which, Eric distributed the participants into groups (zoom room) for participants to discuss their choice of answers in their respective groups and later merge back into the class. Professor Eric reopened the polls, and there was a change in the ratio of each choice of answers compared to the first poll result.
Eric then declared the correct answer and reasons why that option was the answer. This solution will be unforgettable in the minds of every participant, which is the effect of the PI mode of teaching. Irrespective of which answer was correct, Professor Mazur aimed to show that, “Peer Instruction” was simply more effective because it involved critical thinking on the part of the students and not just garbage in, garbage out general knowledge.
Participants expressed their fulfillment and gratitude and the opportunity to be part of such a life-long lesson. The training came to a close with the vote of thanks by our vice-chancellor, Professor Francisca Oladipo.