Peer Learning


Peer learning refers to any instruction in which students interact with one another as a mode of learning, and includes approaches such as collaborative and cooperative learning, small group work, and peer tutoring. Extensive research indicates that peer interaction can be an effective way to support student learning (Hattie, 2009). Whether peer learning actually is effective depends upon many factors, e.g., learning goals, students' group skills, facilitation by instructor, etc. The linked material below focuses on different types of peer learning, e.g., collaborative learning, peer instruction, study groups.

Collaborative Learning. The kinds of problems instructors experience when they use collaborative learning, and students views about working in groups. Read more . . . Collaborative Learning and Q and A about Collaborative Learning

Peer Instruction. Peer Instruction, developed by Eric Mazur, typically takes place in large lecture classes. The instructor poses a thought-provoking question. Students take a minute to write a response and then discuss their answers with a classmate--trying to reach consensus. The instructor can poll students to find out the preferred responses and then decide whether and how to teach the concepts related to the question. 

Study Groups. Research indicates that students perform more poorly on memory tasks in groups than if they learn individually. In this case the whole is less than the sum of its parts. The Hazards of Teamwork: Does Group Study Disrupt Learning?


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