The surprising benefits of peer tutoring
Peer-to-peer tutoring is a learning situation where a student tutors other students. Peer-to-peer tutoring can be organized in many forms; In the class-room, in person after class, or online. Many universities already provide peer-to-peer tutoring by employing teaching assistants, or by following the Supplemental-Instruction method.
There are still, however, universities and high schools who don’t utilize peer-to-peer tutoring. Why should they?
Increase student learning and motivation
Peer-to-peer tutoring has been subject to substantial research. Studies by Austin et. al (2008) and Eisenkopf et. al. (2010) shows that peer-to-peer tutoring is effective on both student learning and motivation.
The tutor and the tutee are both learning
Somewhat surprisingly Austin et. al (2008) and Eisenkopf et. al. (2010) also show that the effects on learning and motivation is not only clear for the tutees, but also for the tutors themselves. In other words, everyone is benefiting.
Engage the students who don’t participate in class
Bombardelli et. al. (2016) shows that peer-to-peer tutoring can build up confidence and cognitive levels for shy students who normally don’t participate in front of the class. A safe place to ask and learn can be essential for some students to thrive.
Relive the workload of teachers and professors
Professors have a high workload. Balancing research and lecturing, in addition to following up individual students outside of class can be exhaustive. Implementing a peer-to-peer tutoring program can relieve the workload of the professors.
- Austin, J. The Effects of Peer Tutoring on Fifth-Grade Students’ Motivation and Learning in Math. Master’s Thesis, The College at Brockport, New York, NY, USA, 2008.
- Bombardelli, O. Effective Teaching Practice: Peer Tutoring in Education for Active Citizenship. Eur. Proc. Soc. Behav. Sci. 2016, 2016, 343–355.
- Eisenkopf, G. Peer effects, motivation, and learning. Econ. Educ. Rev. 2010, 29, 364–374.
Jens Aarre Seip
CEO @ Snapmentor