Fun learning, less stress: 8 benefits of online peer tutoring

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

Various learning models exist in the educational ecosystem to promote effective learning, but one that is gathering wide attention in recent times is peer tutoring. On the surface, it might seem quite impracticable or, at best, ineffective due to its peculiarities which entail collaborative, student-student learning.

However, the facts say otherwise. Peer tutoring has been proven to be hugely beneficial and effective in promoting result-oriented learning. A study published by the South African Journal of Education revealed that 90% of participants who engaged in peer tutoring recorded significant improvements in their performance. 

A & M University also conducted case research investigating achievement results for primary and secondary students across peer tutoring programs. The overall effect size was found to be moderately large, indicating that students who participated in peer tutoring activities experienced better academic improvements than students who did not participate in peer tutoring.

So what is peer tutoring, and what are its benefits for online education?

What is peer tutoring?

Peer tutoring is an interesting deviation from the classic teacher-student learning dynamic. This approach encourages student collaboration, ditching the traditional hierarchy and allowing them to work on classwork together.

It's a teaching method that involves pupils of the same age and academic level teaching and helping each other. A peer tutor is basically a student who works with another student, helping them to improve academically.

For example, it's like when your math-savvy friend helps you with those pesky quadratic equations that always seem complicated. It's like having a private tutor but with someone who can relate to your plight. It's a win-win situation—you finally understand what the teacher was talking about in class, while the tutor gets to feel smart and helpful. It's the perfect team effort – two heads are always better than one!

With the rise of online learning, peer tutoring has become even more popular, so what are the upsides to this teaching approach?

Benefits of peer tutoring

Here are some important benefits of having peer tutoring:

1. It enhances the learning process

One key benefit of online peer tutoring is giving students a more customized educational experience, a great way to supercharge learning. This learning approach helps students comprehend complex concepts and boosts their capacity to remember and recall info. With one-on-one tutoring, students can get individualized attention and support from their peers and tutors.

This allows them to pose inquiries, get instant feedback on their work, and receive guidance tailored to their unique requirements and learning styles. Moreover, online peer tutoring allows students to get involved in active learning. Rather than just listening to lectures or reading materials, students can actively join in their learning by engaging in dialogues with their tutors.

2. It increases motivation

First of all, it's worth noting that motivation is a key factor in academic success.

For example, if a student has trouble with a certain subject, it can be quite upsetting and make them want to give up. But, having a peer tutor who is proficient in the subject can make a huge difference. They can work together to help each student in a way that is best for the student. They can also help break down the material for the student and give them tips and tricks to keep them motivated.

Also, online peer tutoring helps create a sense of community and connection among students, boosting motivation. Students who feel part of a group or team working towards a common goal may be more motivated to contribute and succeed.

3. It promotes the development of social skills

Peer tutoring allows students to interact with each other, which helps to develop social skills. It promotes communication, cooperation, and teamwork. Students who participate in peer tutoring are likelier to develop positive relationships with their peers.

Moreover, students have the opportunity to interact with someone outside of their immediate social circle. This can help them to develop new social connections and expand their social network, which is important for building strong relationships and support systems.

4. It promotes confidence building among students

Online peer tutoring can be a great way to build confidence, particularly for students who may feel hesitant or unsure about their abilities. When students have the opportunity to study through peer programs online, they can receive personalized support and guidance that can help them develop their skills and feel more confident in their abilities.

When they feel confident in the learning environment, they won't won'traid of being criticized when they engage with the material, ask questions or make mistakes.

Also, it gives a sense of self-assurance in their capacity to teach and learn. Students gain a sense of expertise and mastery when they teach their peers. They may feel more confident and have higher self-esteem as a result.

5. It encourages student engagement

As we established before, students interacting with one another in a teaching capacity often find themselves more driven to excel in their studies. Peer tutoring brings a brand-new outlook on learning, making it easier for students to grasp and remember complex ideas better!

6. It supports personalized learning

Online peer tutoring offers a major benefit in the form of personalized learning. Unlike a traditional classroom setting, where teachers must create lesson plans to fit the needs of an entire class, online peer tutoring allows students to enjoy one-on-one assistance from a tutor who understands their unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles and can provide an individualized approach to teaching.

7. It helps to hone leadership skills

Being a peer tutor is a great way to flex those leadership muscles! It's an excellent opportunity to practice communication, problem-solving, and organization. You'll step into a leadership role as a tutor, calmly guiding your tutee through their academic journey. It's an incredibly beneficial experience for both the tutor and the tutee. The benefits go far beyond the classroom - you get to develop and upgrade those essential leadership skills in a practical, tangible way.

8. It enhances retention

Through engaging in one-on-one and small group chats, students can get a firmer grasp on the material--allowing them to process and cement key concepts. Not only does this facilitate inquiries and encourage sharing diverse perspectives, but it also develops essential problem-solving and critical thinking skills. All of which, in turn, enhances retention!

To wrap things up

In conclusion, peer tutoring is a valuable teaching method that can benefit both the student being tutored and the student doing the tutoring. It provides individualized attention, reinforces understanding, builds confidence and self-esteem, and fosters community and collaboration. Given its many benefits, peer tutoring should be considered a tool for supporting students and helping them succeed.

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