THE IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF PEER LEARNING PROGRAMMES IN THIRD LEVEL SCIENCE MODULES

Johnston, Jennifer and Liston, Maeve (2010) THE IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF PEER LEARNING PROGRAMMES IN THIRD LEVEL SCIENCE MODULES. [Conference Proceedings]

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Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the implementation of a peer learning programme utilising undergraduate peer leaders in first year undergraduate science modules at the University of Limerick and at other science departments involved in the Shannon Consortium partnership. Research supports the concept of involvement in college: the greater the student's involvement, the greater the amount of student learning and personal development (Astin, 1999; Bloom, 1974; Whitman 1988). There is strong evidence from research carried out world wide that Peer Learning when implemented effectively is sustainable. In this study peer learning represents a two-way, reciprocal learning experience. Peer learning can be easily incorporated into the present structure of teaching sciences. It is cost effective and provides students especially the peer leaders with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning. Peer learning utilising undergraduate science teachers was investigated in a recent PhD study carried out in the physics department at the University of Limerick. This peer learning model involved the students working in cooperative groups with a peer leader as a facilitator of their learning. One of the main findings from this PhD study was that the peer leaders' experience of the programme was very positive, and there were significant improvements to their physics understanding. This project extends and expands the recent PhD study and it aims to increase students learning experiences of science. Weekly science tutorials will be delivered through peer learning, and the programme was conducted during the Autumn and Spring semesters 2009/2010 in first year undergraduate science modules. This project will be evaluated through a mixed methodology. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be obtained on student performance, attitudes and on implementation techniques. This paper presents initial findings of the implementation and set up of the peer learning programme.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 19:49
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2015 21:35
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2597

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