Peer-to-peer learning technique in the classroom
In my 3rd year Computer Science class I experienced learners coming to class under-prepared. This resulted in long boring one way lectures. The learners were not asking questions or responding to my questions. In general they were not engaged, hence not participating. I decided to introduce peer-to-peer learning technique. In each lesson, 4 learners had to present the lecture alongside me. My role was to simply introduce what the lesson is going to be about including helping to respond to challenging questions from fellow learners. The rest of the lesson was lectured by these 4 learners. In the same manner as the flipped classroom, this technique forced learners to prepare for class before the lecture date. I allocated marks for each lesson presented. When it is not their turn to present a lesson, the other learners’ role was to ask questions and engage the presenters. The presenting learners would have to read beforehand and understood the content in order for them to present and respond to the questions. I also allocated points to the learners who asked questions, as a way to stimulate conversation within the classroom. The rationale behind this peer-to-peer technique was that, a number of teaching and learning experts have suggested that learners understand content better when they themselves have to teach other people. This technique has produced outstanding learner-engagement results within my lessons. The class is now more exciting; learners are engaging in debate with each other and many times against me. To boost the learners’ confidence, I told them that there is no right or wrong answer, and there is nothing like a stupid question. A stupid question is “the question not asked”. I encourage anyone lecturing a senior level course (and experiencing problems of class preparedness) to try-out the peer educating technique. Once you have tried it out please share your experience with us here. Please note that this technique does not eliminate the role of the lecturer (facilitating learning).