‘How can peer-to-peer learning promote student independence?’
The aim of this report helped to give an understanding about how peer to peer learning has helped to promote student independence.
The report included the different argument for how Peer to Peer learning is beneficial for the students.
At the end, it is concluded that peer to peer learning hold a due importance in helping the students to learn new methods, knowledge and skills, etc. The report had also provided various recommendations in against of the arguments.
This below report will be discussing about how peer to peer learning helps to promote student independence. Peer to Peer learning means that students learn with and from each other as fellow learners.
In this type of learning the students are not under any implied authority and they get a chance to learn and explain their ideas to others by participating in various activities.
The problem from peer to peer learning will also be discus in this report as too much of help from one student to another on a given assignment may lead to academic misconduct as well as students will start to become dependent on each other.
At the same time, the scope of this report is to discuss how peer to peer learning will promote student independence. The research methods that will be used in this report are secondary data that will be collected from various articles, journals, etc.
How peer to peer learning contribute to student independence?
Peer to peer learning is very important as it helps the students to learn different things by one to one tutoring by the students who are little more ahead of other students as well as those who are aware about the material or have a proficiency in that material which is to be learnt.
Peer to Peer learning helps to divide the classmates into small lot of groups in which each person in the group is responsible for teaching others. Regarding this Li et al., (2010)claimed that classroom group learning helps the students to learn effectively as in classroom they form groups and they have the opportunity to interact face to face.
It also helps the students to develop friendship groups as well as dynamic grouping also helps the students to exchange knowledge which contributes to the group performance. In class group learning the students who have experience in a particular subject or area help the students who have little or less experience in that area.
However Van Zundert et al., (2010) described that, the experienced students bring skills to assist the other students. Group learning is also effective as it brings synergy which leads to enhance the performance of the group at whole.
The direct interaction among the group learning members also helps to promote active learning in the group. Group learning helps to develop effective individual learners who with their expertise assist others; they act as independent learners or independent leaders.
Peer to peer learning is an effective way as by it every student participates in team project actively. Peer evaluation is also different form teacher’s evaluation in a way in the latter the students are under the authority of a formal body but in the former they have their own student as their peer who helps them to develop their learning skills effectively and also helps them to experience student independence.
Parker et al., (2008) argued that students feel more comfortable when they get to know that their performance will be evaluated by their peer and the peer is a student.
They feel more comfortable in expressing their views at that time instead of presenting in front of teacher as a peer. In support of this, Hew & Cheung, (2008) claimed that students find that social leadership in the form of organizing or coordinating is also having important consideration at the time of evaluating the peers.
Direct interaction among the students helps to promote active learning as they feel that they have the opportunity to exercise independence in teaching others as per their convenience.
They enjoy to get learning lessons from their own student peers instead of the teachers as the peer teacher reinforce their own learning by guiding or instructing others. The students share a great discourse with the peer student which helps to promote greater understanding.
Peer to peer learning can also be done online which is the latest concept. The online peer learning helps the students to learn learning activities which are been combined with current technology.
This technology helps to enhance and improve the student’s learning experience. Learning online helps the students to gain the advantage of getting the learning material whenever they want.
This online peer learning form is a more convenient form of learning as compared to the traditional ones. Xie et al., (2008) stated that online peer learning is having low risk and the students are getting the advantage to enhance their learning more effectively. Students are also able to build and improve their confidence level by going for online peer learning.
Regarding this, LaPointe & Reisetter (2008) argued that online peer learning also helps the students to express their opinions more effectively as they now got a better platform for learning different courses, activities, etc.
Student independence is also enhanced or improved as not just the subject knowledge is been enhanced but the students are also having an opportunity to learn new study methods online. Online peer learning is also a financially effective alternative than other learning methods to be adopted.
PASS program is also an effective program which helps to contribute to peer to peer learning for the students. This models or program helps to utilize the skills of the higher class students to deliver the learning and guidance to the lower level students in the institute.
This program helps to foster the relationships among the students in regard of the similar academic program. Shernoff, D. J. & Csikszentmihalyi (2009) claimed that PAAS program is very effective as it helps to train the higher students where they can utilize their knowledge and skills, expertise to facilitate or provide the study material for students in lower level of study.
The PASS students or leaders help to provide assistance to the students in a way that they provide solutions to their problems, by encouraging collaborative discussion. In support of this Buddin & Zamarro (2009) argued that PASS program also helps to encourage active learning in an informal and friendly environment.
It also helps to improve and enhance the student’s study habits as well as it also helps to enhance the understanding of the students regarding the subject matter through collaborative learning.
The PASS leaders or students are the experienced ones who have already excelled in the course previously. The sessions provided in PASS program are fun, focused on the subject matter, and relaxed.
These programs help the students to attain good marks or grades as well as provide them with the opportunity to enhance their friendships, learn valuable study skills and also to save their personal study time.
From the above study it can be concluded that here is an importance of peer to peer learning in contributing the student independence. Moreover, it is concluded that peer to peer learning is mutually beneficial as well as it involves the sharing of effective skills, knowledge, experience, etc between the students. It means moving from independent to mutual learning.
At the same time, it is also concluded that by the help of peer to peer learning the students get an opportunity to explain their views and ideas to others as well as they also participate in the different activities in which they get a chance to learn from their peers.
Most of the activities in peer to peer learning take place informally and the students who are already having experience and desired skills help the ones with lower level capacity.
At the end it is concluded that, forming groups also help the students to discuss their views more easily and also help to enhance the friendship among the group members. The online peer to peer learning programs are also very effective as it is much convenient for the students and it involves less risk and enhance the confidence of the students.
Strategies for best utilizing the experience of peers
It is recommended to the students that they take active part in the classroom group learning as it will help them to learn new knowledge, skills, ideas or expertise in different areas from their peers.
This will in return help the students in the group to enhance their group performance. It is also recommended that they focus on the direct interaction more as it will lead to reduce the chances of confusion among the group members and will also help to promote active learning.
It is recommended to the peer leaders that they evaluate the performance of the students without bringing any kind of biasness or being judgmental or making perceptions regarding the learning ability of any student.
It is recommended that the peer leader should try making available the learning material to every student online easily. The students are also recommended that they handle this informal peer learning situations effectively.
It is recommended or suggested to the students to effectively understand the importance of the PAAS program and how it benefits them. At the same time, it is also recommended that the students increase their skills, knowledge through the use of this PASS program.
Buddin, R., & Zamarro, G. (2009). Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools. Journal of Urban Economics, 66(2), 103-115.
Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2008). Attracting student participation in asynchronous online discussions: A case study of peer facilitation. Computers & Education, 51(3), 1111-1124.
LaPointe, L., & Reisetter, M. (2008). Belonging online: Students’ perceptions of the value and efficacy of an online learning community. International Journal on E-learning, 7(4), 641-665.
Li, L., Liu, X., & Steckelberg, A. L. (2010). Assessor or assessee: How student learning improves by giving and receiving peer feedback. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(3), 525-536.
Parker, P., Hall, D. T., & Kram, K. E. (2008). Peer coaching: A relational process for accelerating career learning. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 7(4), 487-503.
Shernoff, D. J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). Cultivating engaged learners and optimal learning environments. Handbook of positive psychology in schools, 131-145.
Van Zundert, M., Sluijsmans, D., & Van Merriënboer, J. (2010). Effective peer assessment processes: Research findings and future directions. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 270-279.
Xie, Y., Ke, F., & Sharma, P. (2008). The effect of peer feedback for blogging on college students’ reflective learning processes. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(1), 18-25.
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