Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education

Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education

Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education

Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education


The number of students in higher education has expanded dramatically in recent years, but funding has not kept pace with this growth. The result is less contact time for lecturers and their students, and corresponding worries about how the quality of teaching and learning can be improved. Peer tutoring is one method which is growing in popularity, and has already proved successful in a number of countries. This book provides an introduction to the methods and practice of peer tutoring focusing on how to set up schemes and how to cope with common problems. It discusses the theory behind this form of learning and the beneficial effects associated with it. Summaries are included at the end of each chapter.


This book explores student learning in the context of peer tutoring. It provides a practical guide to activities, a theoretical framework in which to situate peer tutoring and reviews of relevant empirical work on the subject. It also contains contributions by practitioners which illuminate a variety of issues and problems. It is hoped that teachers in further and higher education, researchers and staff developers may find the book a valuable resource.


The book is concerned with the design, delivery and evaluation of peer tutoring and with the context in which it operates. There are two main strands to the book: the first situates peer tutoring in context and the second provides a practical guide to the development of peer-tutoring schemes. Both strands develop out of the introduction and first two chapters. In the introduction, I define key terms and explore issues surrounding the concept of 'peer'. Chapter 1, 'What is peer tutoring?', provides an introduction to many useful methods arranged in a taxonomy, and includes tables and 'How to do' sheets containing information necessary for implementation of each approach to peer tutoring. This chapter is designed as a practical resource to help readers. It is long, but is the core of the book for those interested in practical methods. Chapter 2, 'Beneficial effects: why teachers use peer tutoring', investigates the reasons why teachers have introduced peer tutoring into their programmes and explores its effects and benefits.

There are then three possible ways of proceeding though the book. It is, of course, possible to read straight through the chapters in the order in which they are presented. This route will provide the reader with information about peer tutoring in a theoretical and research context, and with practical advice about the practice. However, those whose interest is primarily in the practical might wish to move straight on to Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. This I have named the 'practical' route. An alternative route takes the reader to Chapters 3 and 4 which investigate

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