Active Learning Online: Peer Instruction using Group Exams


Use peer instruction to squeeze extra learning out of your exam by making students take it twice.  Once on their own (90%), then again with a team (10%).


  • Fresh awareness of what students DO NOT know fuels peer instruction
  • Students love it
  • Rewards peer instruction
  • Students are more motivated in an exam setting
  • Very easy to implement


  1. Have students take the individual exam as usual. I typically give a 2 day window and use Respondus Lockdown Browser for my individual exam. This is worth 90% of their exam score.
  2. Make a copy of the exam for students to take with their group.
  3. Have the students take the exam a second time after the individual exam is closed. This will be worth 10% of their exam score.To do this online you will:
  4. Have the students meet in Zoom.
    1. Divide them into breakout rooms in groups of 3-5.
    2. Have one person in each group open the exam and screen share it.
    3. Students will come to a consensus on each question and make one group submission.
    4. As they problem solve together, they can annotate on the shared screen to solve problems.

Recommended Resources & Links

Gilley, B. H., & Clarkston, B. (2014). Collaborative testing: Evidence of learning in a controlled in-class study of undergraduate students. Journal of College Science Teaching, 43(3), 83-91.

Contact Information

Grace Troupe

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Well done, Grace! Enjoyed the group concept.

This is one component of Team-based Learning. Here is a presentation to learn more:

Can you do this essay exams? Does it seem like a good idea to attempt to do this with exam questions or is this only for your multiple choice/True-False/Fill in the Blank type of exam? Would very much appreciate your perspective.
Thank you so much.