For this assignment, I am considering how I can attempt to avoid pitfall #5 and promote effective peer-peer teaching among students.
I am somewhat skeptical of many attempts at students teaching students. There are many ways this can get off track – opinions expressed as facts, quiet students unengaged and/or falling behind, etc. The other concern that I have is that it often isn’t mutually beneficial. Rather than a sharing of knowledge and ideas, it can become a one-way exchange of information from the more advanced student to the one being tutored.
However, I have also seen student-student teaching be very effective, most commonly as students are completing homework assignments together in the student lounge. The social dynamics of learning from each other is a non-trivial barrier. I am hoping that the hybrid course might provide some mechanisms for overcoming this barrier, but I don’t really have a clear sense of how to tackle this in the hybrid setting yet.
I did a quick literature search and there’s a number of sites out there, but I found the content to be a bit general. I didn’t really find specific ideas that I could implement in my class, so I drafted a couple. I would appreciate your feedback on these or suggestions of other ideas!
- Small group discussions: Small group discussion in class is one appraoch I’ve had some success with in my on-campus classes. I’d like to continue using those in the hybrid version, and would like to find an effective way to do this via the Discussion Board. My approach will be to pose a small calculation or process-oriented question to small teams (3-4 students) and have them work out a solution. The challenge with this is ensuring that each member offers a meaningful contribution to the analysis. My previous experience has convinced me that simply putting a point value on submissions makes it easy for some team members to add trivial text while the other members do all of the real thinking. I wonder if assigning a “leader” role for each discussion topic and then rotating that role through all members may be one way to overcome this? I can also see pitfalls of this in that students may only minimally engage on their assigned topic.
- Peer assessment: I would also like to explore an anonymous form of peer assessment. My thought on this is to have students submit their assignments by their student ID. I would then post the solution and a rubric on the day that the assignment is due. Then students would have one week to grade a randomly selected peer’s assignment as part of their online/out-of-class activities. This would force students to study the rubric and provide peers with feedback on what they missed.
Are there any practices that you think might be effective in supporting peer-to-peer learning in a hybrid format?