Education

Foster peer learning

One absorbs behaviours, characteristics and information from those around, making learning a collaborative experience.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

One absorbs behaviours, characteristics and information from those around, making learning a collaborative experience. Psychologist Lev Vygotsky viewed interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategies and suggested that teachers should use cooperative learning exercises where underperforming children develop with help from more skilful peers. However, peer-to-peer learning has not got the attention it deserves, despite the impact it has on a child’s learning and growth.

With the transition of learning to an online classroom, the rules of studying are also changing to make sure the challenges of not being present physically in no way hamper the overall learning and that students still get to interact with and learn from one another. So how exactly can an online classroom work on the peer-to-peer learning model?

Peer assessment

The concept of an assignment until now has always been one where the student submits his/her work to the instructor who then grades it. This can be tweaked and made more creative by allowing students to review each other’s work. This can be carried out in a controlled manner where the instructor shares a grading/feedback framework within which assignments can be assessed. It should be based on a model of constructive feedback and not a grade point system. The idea is to encourage students to learn from each other and be able to harness their leadership qualities. The instructor also builds a trustful relationship with the students by giving them responsibilities.

Peer collaborations

Using the traditional classroom method of dividing students into groups where they get to collaborate on a project/assignment increases interaction and gives them a chance to discuss ideas, thereby building a sense of community.

Research has shown that giving students a real-life problem to solve or incorporating role-play activity makes online collaborations more fun and gives them exposure to different perspectives.

Peer-led courses

Instructors can divide the students into groups and give them a topic, which they should teach to their peers. They should be asked to design the course, which will encourage them to lead.

The idea behind peer-to-peer learning is to break away from the traditional passive learning where the student sits silently as the teacher teaches.

The time is now ripe to incorporate a more interactive method which encourages each student to be a member of the learning community.

The writer is CEO, instrucko


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:33:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-is-it-important-to-foster-peer-learning/article37018533.ece

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