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You Teach Us: Peer Teaching in the Engineering Classroom

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

The Role of Peers in Promoting Learning and Persistence

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Keilin Jahnke University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign

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Dr. Keilin Jahnke is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, all at the University of Illinois. She has taught various courses and her research interests include the assessment of the effectiveness of applied courses, the impact of non-technical considerations on engineering decision-making and design, and the enhancement of creativity and development of empathy in engineering students.

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Samantha Lindgren University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign

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Samantha Lindgren is an Assistant Professor in the department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is affiliated faculty in the department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the Technology Entrepreneurship Center, both in the Grainger College of Engineering. Her research focuses on the roles of sustainability education and engineering education in the success of engineering projects, domestically and abroad.

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Peer teaching, an instructional technique which promotes both student interaction and active learning, is explored in this evidence-based practice paper. Both in-person and virtual classrooms necessitate that instructors carefully consider mechanisms of content delivery in order to retain student engagement. The You Teach Us, a peer teaching method described in this paper, enables students to learn from one another through structured activities and can be utilized in courses of varying sizes. In the engineering course in which this method originates, students prepare a 15-minute lesson to teach a small group of their peers. These lessons are not one-sided student presentations. Students must apply the creative process to an educational context and develop lessons that include pertinent content in an engaging activity and a mechanism for summative assessment (e.g., discussion, individual or group quiz, quality of activity outcome). To further understand the effectiveness of this instructional activity in terms of student engagement and outcomes, student self- and peer-assessments are qualitatively analyzed. Findings indicate that students were reflective, consistent, and fair graders who reported high levels of student engagement both in their own, and in their peers’, lessons.

Jahnke, K., & Lindgren, S. (2021, July), You Teach Us: Peer Teaching in the Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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