edX Peer Instruction


Improve critical thinking skills and enhance self and peer learning.

Engaging in a lively discussion topic in a classroom and learning from various perspectives and approaches improves students’ learning outcome. The peer instruction tool allows student to respond to a question, review other students’ responses, and have the opportunity to revise their original response. Learners can develop critical thinking skills by articulating and reflecting on their response to the assessment.

How does edX Peer Instruction work?

Students go through the following phases when completing an assignment using the edX Peer Instruction tool:

Initial Response

Students select an answer along with an explanation to justify their selected response.


Students view and learn from their peers’ responses.


Students re-submit their answer and revised explanation.


Students see the correct answer and the overall class performance.

How can edX Peer Instruction help me?

Students benefit from peer-to-peer learning as it provides an opportunity to think about a problem from different point of views. The edX Peer Instruction enables that experience by facilitating peer learning assessments online. This tool provides instructors the flexibility to allocate more classroom time for other discussions and activities, while giving students the opportunity to reap additional benefits of peer learning outside of classroom. Additionally, it also provides feedback to instructors, showing the overall classroom’s performance for that assessment, prior to and after Peer Instruction.


  • Allows students to interact with their peers in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
  • Facilitates active learning in students through justifications of their selected responses.
  • Students are exposed to different perspectives and approaches during the review process.
  • Instructor can upload images onto a question which adds to the different types of questions that can be asked.
  • Easy to set-up and steps are intuitive for students.


  • Only available for multiple choice type assessments.
  • Sample responses are required for first couple of students who completes the first phase, due to the lack of pool of responses from other students.


  • Currently only available on edX or edX edge. No integrations with the institution’s LMS.

Tips for using edX Peer Instruction in your class


  • Set-up a sample assignment and familiarize yourself with the process of creating submission forms, as well as all the assignment options that can be turned on/off. Preview it as a student and do testing before making it available.
  • Consider including an HTML component before the peer instruction component to describe the workflow that learners will experience in this assessment type. (Refer to the Resources tab below)
  • Consider including a content-specific discussion component after the peer instruction component to give learners an opportunity to continue the conversation.

Getting Started

Discuss ideas and options with the Arts Learning Centre Drop by the Arts Learning Centre for a chat in Buchanan C105A
Email Arts ISIT Helpdesk Contact ArtsISIT arts.helpdesk@ubc.ca for assistance or a demonstration!
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