What Do Students Experience as Peer Leaders of Learning Teams?

ABSTRACT

In a course for engineering freshmen, peer leaders facilitated optional study sessions, which implemented peer-led team learning workshops. Some leaders were paid teaching assistants, but most were undergraduate volunteers. To understand the experiences of the peer leaders, we asked them to keep weekly reflective journals. By performing a basic qualitative analysis of fourteen journals from two semesters, we developed a description of the experience of leading peer-led team learning workshops over the course of the semester. At the beginning of the semester, the leaders were apprehensive about teaching and concerned with correctly answering students’ questions. As the semester progressed, the leaders were often frustrated with the difficulty of teaching, and the leaders tried new ways of encouraging student participation. At the end of the semester, the leaders reported that they increased self-confidence, developed an appreciation for intellectual diversity, and gained an increased interest in teaching.

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Erik C. Johnson

Erik C. Johnson

Brett A. Robbins

Brett A. Robbins

Michael C. Loui

Michael C. Loui

 

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