Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better student performance with peer learning

Date:
November 13, 2010
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
Engineering students with average grades from upper secondary school can manage difficult courses just as well as students with high grades. At least, if a group of them meet an older student once a week during the first semester to discuss and solve maths problems and other difficult exercises from their courses, according to new research.

Engineering students with average grades from upper secondary school can manage difficult courses just as well as students with high grades. At least, if a group of them meet an older student once a week during the first semester to discuss and solve maths problems and other difficult exercises from their courses. This is shown by a new evaluation from the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University of the 'peer learning' sessions, or SI (supplemental instruction), as the method is also known.

The SI method is also used at universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway, but has not been evaluated in this manner before.

The report, in which the authors compare SI participation and performance, also shows that first-year students with high attendance at the SI sessions on average pass 30 per cent more credits in their first year than students who do not attend the SI sessions. The SI students also do better in other courses, probably because they have developed their study technique and study strategy with the help of SI.

"This shows that many students can achieve more than they think. But they have to practise in order to develop their critical and abstract thinking abilities, which is exactly what the SI students do. They don't have to worry about their performance being assessed, because there is no lecturer present, rather they can reflect on their own learning on their own terms. This 'silent knowledge' also strengthens students' self-confidence," says Leif Bryngfors, head of the SI Centre at the Faculty of Engineering.

"Another important conclusion is that the students' performance is largely controlled by what happens after they arrive at university. Mediocre secondary school grades are not the end of the world," he adds.

Joakim Malm, who supervises the older students who lead SI, emphasises that SI benefits all students.

"Regardless of whether students have top grades or lower grades from upper secondary school, they benefit from attending SI sessions. The more sessions a student attends, the better his or her results on the course and during the whole of the first year," he explains.

All types of students participate in the SI programme. However, it particularly attracts female students and those from families without a tradition of academic study -- both under-represented groups at the Faculty of Engineering. Attendance at SI for first-year students is around 50 per cent during the first half of the autumn semester, and around one third after that.

About SI

Supplemental instruction, SI, is a method developed at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. The idea is that, as a complement to the ordinary teaching, students discuss their subject in groups and do exercises under the supervision of a more experienced peer. They thus improve their study technique, problem solving ability and understanding of the subject, at the same time as they have an opportunity to get to know their peers. The supervisor should not act as a teacher, but should serve as a sounding board and ask questions that get the students thinking in an active but relaxed environment.

Today, SI is practised on most undergraduate engineering programmes at the Faculty of Engineering and also on many courses and programmes within humanities and theology at Lund University. SI supervisors at the Faculty of Engineering receive training at the SI Centre, which is also responsible for follow-up and feedback. The SI supervisors need to learn methods to create a good learning environment and a well functioning group, and check their subject knowledge by meeting the course director on a regular basis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lund University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Better student performance with peer learning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074408.htm>.
Lund University. (2010, November 13). Better student performance with peer learning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074408.htm
Lund University. "Better student performance with peer learning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074408.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins