Peer Interaction in Active Learning Biology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Active learning in college science classrooms takes different forms, many of which are explored throughout this volume. Now that we have ample evidence that “active learning” is effective (e.g., Springer et al. Rev Educ Res 69(1):21, 1999), discipline-based education research has been able to move away from investigating that general question and begin trying to determine the key design features or essential elements that make active learning effective. From the beginning, almost every version of active learning has included students working together with their peers on some sort of instructional activity. This peer interaction was instinctively seen as important to the nature of active learning and research has supported this hypothesis with evidence. In this chapter, I will first review the theoretical foundation that provides the hypothesis of the importance of peer interaction in education, then I will review experimental evidence that supports the many benefits of peer interaction, and, finally, I will summarize some recommendations from a variety of excellent resources on the implementation of peer interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActive Learning in College Science
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case for Evidence-Based Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030336004
ISBN (Print)9783030335991
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


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