Best Practices for Peer-To-Peer Learning


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A quick deck with some best practices for new teachers, peer leaders and anyone looking to share some knowledge!

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Best Practices for Peer-To-Peer Learning

  1. 1. Best Practices for Peer-To-Peer Training Matthew Knell February 25, 2014
  2. 2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs What motivates behavior? More:
  3. 3. Typical session flow
  4. 4. Start by setting the foundation • Set learning expectations before you start teaching the actual material: – – – – – How long will the session last? What are the primary learning objectives? What is the expected experience level of the students? What are the specific skills they should expect to learn? Explain environmental factors - break time, collaboration expectations, turn off cellphones, etc. – Introduce yourself and share experience relevant to the class – this reaffirms your “authority” to teach. – If you have time and are comfortable, have students introduce them – one of the best advantages of this is that students can develop “learning buddies” through shared social commonalities.
  5. 5. Syllabus / Agenda • Provide a syllabus or an agenda to give the student a tangible piece of material to refer to during and after the session. • Even if they don’t listen to everything you say, it will help put student’s minds at ease and transform them into a learning mindset. • This allows students to reflect on their progression through the class.
  6. 6. Defining primary learning objectives • You should be able to express your primary learning objectives for the course: – Simple, straightforward English sentences. – Avoid “run-on” sentences. – Use as little technical jargon as possible. • These bullets will make up the heart of your agenda and the framework for your course material. • Be general with these primary objectives, and then use your course material to break them down more specifically.
  7. 7. Learning modules • Use each one of your primary learning objectives as the basis of a “module”. • A class can consist of one to many modules depending on time and content makeup. • Each module should consist of the following – A foundational overview of the topic: Referencing where possible knowledge about the topic likely known by the students. – A deep dive: How you can take what they already may know and extend it using your knowledge of the topic. – Real-world examples: A way for them to harness and use their new knowledge in a tangible, real-world example. – Feedback opportunities: Allows for them to give you a signal (literal, or emotional) that they’ve understood what you’ve said and feel comfortable they can move on to the next objective. – A summary review: Reinforce what you’ve taught them by sharing it again briefly.
  8. 8. About “stretch” learning • Be extra aware of content that is something new or potentially difficult, and may be difficult for them to understand. – Take a little extra time to explain those points more thoroughly. – Be prepared to explain these things in parables that may not be directly related to the course, but are common real-world concepts. • Watch for emotional signals that they do not understand – usually students will give you a “tell” (watch their eyes and reaction) that they are lost and need a little extra guidance. – Note: you can’t wait for everyone – if there are people who don’t understand, try to follow up later if you can.
  9. 9. Summarize what they’ve learned • Recap what they’ve learned! • At the end of each module, break down the key new things students have learned to remind them. This helps for recall later. • Use short bullets here as well.
  10. 10. Class makeup • In a collaborative environment, it’s usually easy to see the students who are stronger in the source material. Use them to help explain the material to others. • Do not let any one voice dominate the conversation. Try to get the entire group involved if you can and it feels natural.
  11. 11. After the class • Make the course material available for independent learning after the fact • It’s unrealistic to expect students to understand everything you’ve shared – make yourself available for follow-up questions, either at predetermined times or via email.