What Is Peer-to-Peer Learning?
Peer-to-peer learning is an educational practice where students get together and interact with one another to attain educational goals. It is basically learning support for students to learn, connect, and collaborate with one another.
However, peer learning is not a substitute for teaching. It complements traditional methods of teaching just as mobile applications complement smartphones. It’s a form of engagement and communications that reach beyond the limited four walls of a classroom.
Students receive a different perspective of the same subject. A peer receives an explanation from another peer who speaks the same language, communicates like them, but grasps the subject better, or is more informed at the subject than they are.
The practice, therefore, provides a complimentary feel to traditional teaching. They work in tandem, not in contrast, to one another.
Who is it For?
What defines a peer?
It is a person that is equivalent to the other in terms of education, expertise, and background. In traditional workplaces, schools, or universities, a peer is often the person who is in the same class or office as you.
However, the internet loosened the definition of it and made it more abstract. Any two individuals interacting online are in essence peers. It’s from this small seed where the peer-to-peer learning revolution sprouted. Popular discussion boards like Reddit and Quora grew to become digital giants because of the learning exchanges and discussions that people had on these boards.
Simply put, an online user would meet up on platforms like Reddit, pose a question or a topic, which would spark a conversation where other users will partake in. This learning support resonated with many, which made these discussion boards a source of entertainment, but also education.
Why Should You Participate in it?
Learning something is not enough. You often need learning support. Think after school tutors and extra sessions. The limitations of a typical classroom are endless: the environment, the restricted learning hours, the limited participation, and engagement. That’s why complementary learning support offers a gateway to added learning through alternative means. The two forms of education coupled together offer the best fit solution for an individual to understand the subject.
Traditionally, the most common approach towards learning has been to learn something new from an instructor or a professor. But it has been shown that students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to one another. An obstacle to learning is the communication barrier that is set between a highly experienced and knowledgeable person, with a person who isn’t as informed as them. Peer-to-peer learning solves that through collaborating with others, giving and receiving feedback, and self-evaluations.
The peers speak each other’s language and thus communicate with one another in a more seamless way. They end up developing skills in organization, planning, and learning activities. This type of learning support is not as potent in a traditional classroom or learning environment.
Through collaboration and discussion, the student-instructor relationship is bound to explore new pathways, conventions, and exchanges.
How to Participate in Peer-to-Peer Learning?
The introduction of peer-to-peer learning to the digital world is still in its infancy. Discussion boards like the ones mentioned above have laid out the groundwork of online learning support. But they don’t quite do the trick.
There needs to be a sense of legitimacy, and organization if online users are to gain true educational value from any sort of learning exchange.
For instance, job postings and job searches went from traditional paper postings to being posted online for the masses. Yet even this digital transition wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until webpages began centralizing recruitment, job postings, and job searches did the industry finally prosper. Now, recruiters and job searchers alike, know which websites to go to, and how to navigate them, whenever they want to look for or post a new job opening.
Similarly, a website like Peer Square offers those exact solutions and more for the peer-to-peer learning industry. A collaborative class that offers seamless services, coupled with high-quality user experience, and organization. This is what makes Peer Square the prototypical platform and learning support. Through peer square schools can access such exchanges through a simple click of a button. Moreover, Peer Square provides students access to different methods of learning, and to a large community of learners. The platform also provides schools with further insight into their students, their needs, and their learning method. This is all done through aggregated data reports that respects user privacy and data protection guidelines.
Peer-to-peer learning may be a foreign concept for a lot of people. That is because they never stopped and took the time to define what it is. Yet, they are no strangers to it, because they partake in it every day, but are just not aware.
Whenever you read a discussion board or an exchange between two users, that is an example of peer-to-peer learning. Another example is when you watch a video on Youtube, or a tutorial, on how to do something. Whenever you have a social media exchange with a professor or a professional and they answer your questions, that is learning support and yes, you are participating in a peer exchange.
The intent is there. The practice and the application are very much alive. You already participate in it. What you are missing is the proper centralization and organization of peer-to-peer learning. A collaborative learning platform that makes learning support more educational, and a lot easier, for you.