What is Peer Learning?
Peer Learning is a set up in which students learn from, and with each other. Peer Learning is both formal and informal. It is not a single distinguished approach to learning but can be fittingly described as an amalgamation of different learning strategies. Through this, students learn directly from each other. They are not dependent on their mentors/tutors alone.
Who are the “peers” in Peer Learning?
Simply put, the “peers” in Peer Learning are people in a similar learning situation. They do not have a defined role in that particular situation as a teacher or an expert. Peers are not necessarily experienced or experts. They share the same status of fellow learners and do not exercise power over each other. This is regardless of their position or responsibilities.
Types of Peer Learning:
- Proctor Model: In this model, senior students tutor junior students. Juniors learn from the experience and expertise of their seniors who would have already studied the paper before.
- Innovative Learning Cells: In this model, students in the same year form partnerships to assist each other with both-course content and personal concerns. Herein, students directly interact with students who are taking the same paper and thus learn from each other.
- Discussion Seminars: In this model, each student is assigned the task of presenting what they learned to the whole class/group in a seminar. This is followed by active engagement with peers through discussions and debate.
- Private Study Groups: This model is known to most of us. This is a more informal type of peer learning wherein students make their own study circle and make up their own strategies and approach in order to accomplish the goal of learning.
Benefits of Peer Learning:
Peer Learning is a two-way reciprocal learning activity that involves the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and experience between the participants.
- A student’s learning elevates when they participate in activities with their peers since they learn from their peers and inculcate the habit of exchanging ideas.
- Students acquire certain organizational and planning skills because they work collaboratively with others, give and receive feedback, and evaluate their own learning.
- They learn effectively as students have the opportunity to expose themselves to different ideas and viewpoints.
- Students learn the art of taking responsibility for their own learning. They also train themselves in learning how to learn.
Peer Teaching v/s Peer Learning:
Peer Teaching(or Peer Tutoring) is an arrangement in which a senior student is assigned the responsibility of instructing a fellow junior student. It is a well-known and acknowledged practice in many universities. On the contrary, Peer Learning is a reciprocal learning set up in which both peers learn from each other with no defined role for a peer teacher. Eg: Discussion Groups.
Students in Peer Learning are by definition peers, and so there is less confusion about roles compared to situations in which one of the ‘peer’ is a senior student or has special expertise, as is seen in Peer Teaching.
Peer Learning emphasizes the need for each student’s contribution to the other students’ learning process. Communication based on their mutual experiences empowers them to make equal contributions. In this form of learning, issues of power and domination are less prominent.
In Peer Teaching, the role of the teacher and learner is fixed. However, in Peer Learning, roles are either not be defined, or shift during the course of the learning experience. Staff are actively involved as group facilitators or they simply initiate student-directed activities such as workshops or learning partnerships.
Peer Learning is an effective learning process outside the realm of immediate Teacher-Student learning interface. It is an effective learning process which should be cultivated by all students. At Career Launcher, we strive to inculcate the practice of Peer Learning for all the coaching programs we offer via a student interface body on Telegram. Our students exchange ideas, ask doubts and find solutions to their academic problems with each other and with their respective mentors.
Check our website to learn about the coaching programs offered by us.