Peer Assisted Learning Strategies : 10 Benefits and Disadvantages

Peer Assisted Learning

Peer Assisted Learning is a type of learning strategy in which peer assistance is involved. This is an educational approach that involves the students working together to achieve some Academic goal with the help of collective knowledge, experiences and different perspectives of peers to enhance the learning process. A peer assisted learning usually occurs in a specialized setting; usually in classroom settings that involves informal study groups, or an online study environment. Here are some common examples of assisted learning strategies

  • Peer Tutoring

In peer tutoring, one or more student can act as tutor providing explanations, and support to other students (the tutee).

  • Group Study

Students in the form of small study groups discuss course materials, solve problems, and prepare for exams together. The discussions and explanations help understanding the basic concepts and helps in collaborative learning.

For merits of Peer Assisted Learning, Click herehttp://Benefits of peer-assisted learning strategies

  • Collaborative Projects

Group Assignments, Group Presentations and Group research studies encourage students to work together to achieve a common academic goal. Collaborative projects promote teamwork, communication, and the development of problem-solving skills.

  • Peer Mentoring

The brilliant ones (mentors) provide guidance and support to average students (mentees) to help them navigate their academic journey, set goals, and overcome challenges.

  • Learning Communities

Students with similar academic interests take classes together, and engage in collaborative learning experiences forming a learning community.

  • Online Peer Support

In virtual study, students connect online through chat rooms, or video conference calls to discuss course content, share resources, and support each other in their studies providing online peer support to each other.

peer learning benefits





Benefits of peer-assisted learning strategies

Here are some of the key advantages of peer-assisted learning strategies:

  • Better Understanding: For teaching to peers require a deep understanding of the subject matter, that is helpful in reinforcing peer tutors their own knowledge and concepts. Explaining concepts to others mostly clarifies one’s own understanding.
  • Improved Academic Performance: Researches say that students who study in peer group form usually achieve better in academics, gain improved grades and test scores.
  • Increased Confidence: Both peer tutors and tutees can experience a boost in confidence. Tutors gain confidence in their ability to convey information accurately, while tutees gain confidence when they receive support and guidance from their peers.
  • Active Involvement: Peer-assisted learning encourages active participation in the learning process. Students are more likely to be motivated and involved when working with their peers.
  • Enhanced Communication Skills: Peer-assisted learning promotes effective communication and interpersonal skills. Tutors learn how to explain complex ideas clearly, while tutees improve their listening and questioning skills and provide assistance to peer tutor wherever necessary.
  • Different Perspectives: Working with peers exposes students to different perspectives and approaches towards their problem-solving. This can lead to a deeper and more acknowledged understanding of the subject matter.
  • Social Connection: Peer-assisted learning produces belonging among students. It helps to build connections within the learning environment, that can contribute to a positive classroom atmosphere.
  • Reduced Anxiety: Some students may feel less anxious seeking help or clarification from their peers compared to asking instructors or expertise.
  • Time Efficiency: Peer-assisted learning can help save time for both students and instructors.
  • Skill Development: Peer-assisted learning helps students develop important skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and collaboration, which are helpful beyond the classroom.
  • Cost-Effective: Peer-assisted learning can be a cost-effective way to provide additional support and resources to students without demanding additional staff or resources.

Overall, peer-assisted learning strategies can contribute significantly to a positive and effective learning environment, benefiting both students who receive support and those who provide it. When properly implemented, these strategies can complement traditional teaching methods and enhance the overall educational experience.

Demerits of Peer Assisted Learning

On the other side, there are some demerits of Peer Assisted Learning too. Here are afew discussed

  • Inaccurate or Incomplete Information

Peer tutors could have incomplete or inaccurate information which they deliver out of over confidence. This can cause trouble for the learner peer.

  • Potential for Misconceptions

Peer tutor’s knowledge and concepts have a high risk factor of Misconception.

  • Lack of Expertise

For highly complex/difficult subjects, an expertise is required that can be lacking in peers.

  • Limited Accountability

Peer tutors may not have the same level as an expertise could have.

  • Unequal Distribution of Work

In some situations, majority of the work is done by Peer tutor while others may not work hard or may not focus on extensive learning.

  • Resistance to Peer Teaching

Some students can be reluctant to ask any question to their peer out of mistrust as for them their instructor could be only best.

  • Dependence on Peers

Depending upon the peer tutors is not good at all.

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