Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
This complete, evidence-based practice paper will detail three student support programs at our university that utilize peer support as a guide for students as they work toward becoming self-directed learners. Our approach includes tutoring, MATHLab, and peer collaborative learning programs housed in the learning support center at our university.
This paper will detail these programs which have each been in place for more than 15 years. These programs employ nearly 200 trained, undergraduate peer leaders who carry out the day-to-day operations of each program. These undergraduate employees offer tutoring and collaborative learning sessions for nearly 18,000 students enrolled in supported courses. While our programs offer support for a large fraction of the university’s enrollment, the majority of students who utilize these programs are freshmen and sophomores enrolled in STEM courses. Our peer-led support approach is unique compared to other institutional support mechanisms that often rely on graduate students and/or staff to handle program operations. However, this peer-led approach requires more in-depth training for peer leaders to ensure they understand and utilize methods to foster self-directed learning in other students. Our peer leader training experience includes an initial day with all newly hired leaders followed by a second day where both new and returning leaders come together to build community and dig deeper into approaches and techniques. New peer leaders then continue their training in a semester-long course where they explore student learning development, engage with helpful resources, and share challenges and successes as they perform their job duties outside the course.
Our peer leaders model effective learning strategies as they support and challenge students to take ownership of their own learning. We will pull from survey data as well as qualitative data to outline some of the learning skills students are exposed to as they participate in these programs. Our goal in sharing this information is to showcase what we have learned from evaluating our programs and provide considerations for others as they work toward increasing the learning capacity of their students.
Brown, J. K., & Stringer, N., & Anderson, R. K., & Whisler, L. (2018, June), Supporting Student Learning Through Peer-led Course Support Initiatives Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31036
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