Online Peer Learning in Higher Ed — Digital Strategies

The set-up

peer learning online

The thoughts

  1. Students have to do research on their own: They can’t just rely on my slides / presentation but actually have to go out find material by themselves, evaluate that material, understand it, and make sense of it. Active content digestion of the material found vs passive digestion of information presented.
  2. Since there were several groups per topic I added the requirement that there shouldn’t be any duplicate / redundant presentations at the end which means the student groups had to communicate with each other to ensure different approaches in their respective research groups. Part of the head-fake learning here: Improving communication skills.
  3. In order to help with communication and collaboration I set up a common collaboration space (on Mural) for students to brainstorm which lead them to use tools that they might not necessarily be too familiar with which should be beneficial when it comes to adapting real world skills.
  4. Eventually the students then had to create infographics about their respective research topics. As students are usually good at presenting class work (as that’s what they do all the time) this task made them a) find tools to create infographics and b) forced them to re-think and really understand their topics in order to find the best way to present their research in a way that is easily understood.
  5. Lastly they then had to teach each other (with follow up asynchronous assignment to check) which added another learning layer to the whole assignment as, obviously, you learn while you teach as well + presenting to peers and knowing it’s crucial content for the exam / final project increased the pressure to really get things right and made students give it their best.

The tools

Screenshot of the live brainstorming session on mural

The process

The outcome

  1. Primary learning outcome: Understand the researched topic. Achieved via research, creation of an infographic, and peer teaching.
  2. Secondary learning outcome: Understand the peer presented topic. Achieved via looking at the created infographics and listening to peer groups explaining their findings (as it is peers students tend to listen more closely).
  3. Tertiary learning outcome: Improve research skills: Achieved via student groups doing research and evaluating found material / sources.
  4. Quaternary learning outcome: Increase adaptability to using different tools in order to complete tasks/assignments.
  5. Head-fake learning 1: Improve communication skills due to collaboration necessities with other groups.
  6. Head-fake learning 2: Improve communication skills due to having to stay in touch / update the instructor (different way of communicating compared to communication with peers)
  7. Head-fake learning 3: Improve the ability to adapt to new situations. This whole experiment was not announced prior to class and students were put in this situation without warning. #RealLife

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Uni lecturer in #BKK. New Media & ED #Volleyball, #MuayThai. https://saschafunk.com — @mythaiorg, hosting @FunkItPod| it’s not rain, it’s liquid sunshine

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Sascha Funk

Sascha Funk

Uni lecturer in #BKK. New Media & ED #Volleyball, #MuayThai. https://saschafunk.com — @mythaiorg, hosting @FunkItPod| it’s not rain, it’s liquid sunshine

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