Enhancement and good practice
We continually endeavour to enhance our teaching and follow best practise.
A number of approaches have a particular focus on peer learning.
Peer instruction allows students get to get continuous feedback on their performance. At the same time the lecturer gets instant feedback about the effectiveness of his or her teaching. A key component of peer instruction for our large classes has been the use of the electronic voting system 'Top Hat'.
Students are asked to study material in advance of lectures, using online course resources and textbook readings. Lectures can then focus on those topics students find difficult and are transformed from presentation of information to guided discussion sessions, with a particular focus on peer instruction.
Student generated content: Peerwise
Peerwise allows authors to create their own assessment questions on the content of courses.
Challenging students to author their own assessments requires them to focus on the important concepts and learning outcomes of a course. Developing effective alternatives encourages students to reflect on possible misconceptions, and explaining the answer to a question in their own words reinforces understanding.
Physics Education Research
The Physics Education Research group plays an active role in deploying and evaluating the effectiveness of instructional techniques such as these, with research funding from a variety of internal and external sources.
The Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) recognises and rewards academics who provide quality teaching to their students. The impact of these awards, past winners and a nomination form is available from the EUSA website.