"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand the process well enough."
There is always that one friend who explains the concepts extremely well just before an exam. They know exactly how to explain it and how to frame the concepts.
It is said that children learn better when they are involved in the process. Learning by doing and peer learning are part of the same equation and putting students at the forefront of the whole process will make them independent thinkers and will also enhance their cognitive skills and ability.
Now, when you were a student, did you ever just doze off in class because the lesson was too boring? Let’s be honest, all of us have done this. Sometimes the concepts are boring and sometimes, it is the way of teaching that gets us bored. When teachers split us into groups and asked us to figure things out on our own and played fun learning games in the class, we all learned better. While teaching, you should put yourself in the student’s shoes and think if you were a student, would you sleep off? If your answer is yes, you need to reconsider your teaching approach.
Peer learning or peer to peer learning is a collaborative teaching approach wherein students are grouped together and they either exchange knowledge, figure out a solution for a problem statement, complete a task or even finish an assignment. The idea is to create shared experiences and while children work in a team and talk and work towards accomplishing one goal, there are a lot of skills and abilities that they acquire during the process.
Let us take a look at the importance of Peer Learning in detail:
Benefits of Peer Learning
Peer-to-peer learning is an approach that fosters communication skills. When students are working towards a common goal, it is necessary to communicate and convey ideas. Students will be more comfortable with other students than their teachers. Even if they have difficulty in communicating with other students, this approach can help to curb their insecurities.
Peer learning is an approach that places a huge emphasis on inclusivity and diversity. There’s a tendency in students to restrict themselves into a certain group of people. Peer-to-peer learning helps students to broaden their branch and get inclusive. The connection and rapport get better and this, in turn, promotes better classroom culture and teachers will find it easier to manage the classroom when students have a better relationship with each other.
As mentioned, students will feel more comfortable with other students their age and when they are working together, the efficiency is bound to be higher. Students spending more time with a peer is creating a personalized learning experience. This approach improves confidence and independence. Spoon feeding the course material is not the essence of education. The purpose of education is to make students capable and that’s exactly what this approach would help achieve.
4.Better Learning Outcomes
Studies and research have shown that in peer learning, the students learn better. In order to explain a concept, the peer ensures that the concept is well cemented. In simple words, the understanding of the concept is better and deeper. In peer learning, all the students involved have to learn concepts and explain them to their peers. This is a cyclic process and this way, students go beyond the basic application of the concept and delve further into the topic.
5.Better Organizational Skills
Regular projects and activities are a part of peer learning and these will help students to get better at planning and organizing. These skills will help students in the long run and when students learn with a peer, they also share ideas, values, and skills. This will help in the holistic development of the students and that is a huge win.
It goes without saying that the purpose of education is to create able individuals. A perfect score is not what teachers should expect from students. While that is great, creative thinking, problem-solving, proactiveness, life skills, and likewise are important aspects that need to be appreciated and encouraged. Peer-to-peer learning or collaborative learning helps in the overall development of a student and it has proven to be a great approach in teaching.
Now that classes have moved online, some teachers think that peer learning is not possible. However, this is not true. Teachers can include various online activities to promote a culture of collaborative learning. If teachers have chosen the right online teaching app, they can just focus on teaching and not worry about the other aspects.