The impact of peer learning within a group of international masters students

Williamson, Swapna Naskar and Paulsen-Becejac, Laila (2016) The impact of peer learning within a group of international masters students. In: The University of West London Teaching and Learning Conference 2016 Students as Partners in Learning, 28 June 2016, University of West London, London. (Unpublished)

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International students constitute a considerable number of student populations in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The effectiveness of peer learning has been found to be suitable in undergraduate international students as they go through the transition phase, where they need to make lots of adjustments through interactions with their peers (Zacchagnini and Verenikina, 2013; Chilvers, 2014). Chilvers (2014) goes on to say that for post-graduate international students, they experience similar challenges, whilst making the transition into Higher Education Institutions abroad. Peer learning has been in use as a teaching tool since 1981 (Topping, 2005). At that time, the main focus was on primary learning and peer assessment. It has since evolved into something which requires the student to actively participate in obtaining and sharing information amongst peers (Boud and Lee, 2005).
In looking at the student experience and making their experience both more inclusive and more accessible, we wanted to introduce the concept of peer learning and the use of peer learning sets to an international group of level 7 students.. Because of their diverse backgrounds and the challenges they face studying abroad, peer learning was used. The use of the SRSSDL tool also supported their learning needs.
The aim is of this project was to examine peer learning and its effectiveness. Small group learning enabled students to develop in depth knowledge and understanding of research methods so as to enhance the students' overall development as a post graduate research student.

•The SRSSDL tool was completed as a pre-and post test, to see their progress over the module.
•The students self-selected five people within their class, to form a peer learning group.
•They presented work each week, with the five group members changing roles each time. The five roles were: team leader, note taker, presenter, monitor and evaluator.
Result s will be discussed.

Boud D and Lee A (2005) 'Peer learning' as pedagogic discourse for research education. Studies in Higher Education. 30(5) 501 - 516.

Chilvers, L. (2014). "Communities of practice for international students: the role of peer assisted study sessions in supporting transition and learning in higher education." Supplemental Instruction Journal 1.1: 90-115.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Peer-learning either teacher-led or student-led can be structured to enhance student learning through active interaction maximising their learning in small groups. A structured peer-learning approach has been found to be useful to facilitate and support international students' diverse but unique learning needs; students benefited from the use of peer-learning in achieving their learning outcomes as well as developing their self-directed learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Peer-learning, collaborative learning, self-rating scale of self-directed learning (SRSSDL, reflective learning, peer assessment.
Subjects: Education
Depositing User: Swapna Williamson
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2016 12:09
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 15:03

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