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Video Transcript – Peer Instruction with Krishna Pakala, v 2.0.

[Title: The Center for Teaching and Learning presents Beyond the Podium: Finding New Ways to Engage Students at Boise State]
[Episode One: Peer-to-Peer Instruction]
[Krishna Pakala, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering] Hi, I’m Krishna Pakala, a Clinical Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.
I’m very passionate about teaching, and I’m always on the lookout for finding innovative
teaching and learning strategies.
This summer, I had the CTL review my class and provide me some feedback of how the class
was going.
While they said most things were going really good—I was using evidence-based instructional
practices—they encouraged me to increase the peer-to-peer interaction, and that’s exactly
what I’m trying to do with technology this semester.
And, in coming to the peer-to-peer instruction, the way we are dealing with that this semester
is, they take a quiz individually, and then they take a quiz as a group, and then they
get a chance to interact with each other and answer the questions, and I would then discuss
with the whole class what should be the answers.
And you can clearly see when they were taking quizzes individually, there was pin-drop silence
in the class, but when I say “Go, you can talk with each other, with your neighbor,”
there was a huge buzz in the class and you can see lots of nice ideas floating around.
The students were quite surprised that technology could be used in so many different ways.
They probably felt it’s only for gaming and chatting and Skyping, but when I showed them
there are other ways in which the past students have used technology in my classes, they were
quite intrigued and started using it and appreciating how a device could be so useful.
The students are more engaged in the classroom.
There are more people now taking notes in the classroom, which all of it is helping
or aiding in their learning.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have any challenges.
Maybe it was because I anticipated that there would be some students who would be digitally
not-so fluent, so I made sure I did some tutorials for them.
I even have a Technology Help Blackboard section where they can go in and quickly review certain
videos and get ready to use the technology in the classroom.
I just think mobile devices are tools which are multi-use, multi-functional.
They could do a quick quiz where I get immediate results from them and I can give them immediate
At the same time, with the push of a button, they can immediately go back to their notes
where they’re solving problems together in the class and come back to maybe record my
So all of that, they could do it and all of it is helping with their learning and also
the peer-to-peer instructional piece.
I would say to my colleagues or the faculty of Boise State is that if you have something
to try and you want to look at innovative approaches, technology is the way to go.
It’s no longer a debate…technology is a given now, and all you have to do is figure
out what you want to accomplish; there is always a way to do it.