Peer-to-Peer Learning: Let your students be their own teachers

Different Teaching and Learning methods have their benefits and drawbacks. Every student works best with a different type or method of learning.

What is Peer-to-Peer Learning?

Peer Learning should not be seen as a single, undifferentiated educational strategy but instead a collection of a broad range of activities. Peer Learning encompasses learning models ranging from the Traditional Proctor Model to the more innovative and accessible Learning Cells. Essentially, ranging of discussions between a teacher and a student,  to discussions with no specific identification of a teacher or student in a group).

Typically Peer learning has the characteristics of a two-way, reciprocal learning activity and is beneficial for all participants.

How is Peer Learning Beneficial?

Students are able to learning when teaching. When students explain their ideas and knowledge to their peers, they retain and get a clearer idea of the information they know and don't know. When planning academic activities and working collaboratively with others, students learn to compromise and give/receive feedback while evaluating their work. Subsequently, this helps students pick up organisational and communicational skills along the way. Aside from academic development, Peer-to-Peer Learning also helps with students' personal development.

Guiding Students in Peer Learning

Peer learning is interactive learning between the students, the teachers however still have the duty to guide the students to make sure the learning method runs smoothly.

  1. GuidelinesTo initiate Peer-Learning, a clear but not necessarily specific guideline should be given. This means that a proximity or outline of what is expected should be drawn, but not the the specific information that should be covered. Being too specific with the guideline will limit the student's exploration of ideas
  2. ProgressKeeping up with progress throughout an extended period can help to ensure students are working throughout the course, and can allow you as a teacher to help them if they are stuck.
  3. Initiated sharingStudents may be shy initially to give peer feedback. Therefore it is important to enable students to ask and answer each others' questions, before asking the teacher. Students can be attentive by joining discussion with things like texts and drawings.

AI as a key enabler to Peer Learning

Educators have already started to implement AI in education to improve the learning experience. Similarly, AI can also be used to assist and improve Peer Learning.

Educators can use AI for Peer Learning in the following aspects:

  1. Group formation AI systems can divide students into well-balanced groups that can work best in completing different projects efficiently.
  2. Evaluation of collaborative abilities AI systems can evaluate each students' degree of collaboration by analysing large volumes of data.
  3. Virtual agents AI can be used to create virtual agents that can assist students in group projects.
  4. Moderation Through recording history, AI systems can safely monitor the use and conversations of numerous groups throughout a course simultaneously.
  5. Learning gaps AI systems can analyse large datasets and quickly identify students struggling with course content and gaps present in the curriculum.