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The effect of peer tutoring on academic achievement

Paul Comfort (Directorate of Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
John James McMahon (Directorate of Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy, University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 8 April 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the effects of peer tutoring on the academic achievement, during practical assessments, of the tutors and tutees.

Design/methodology/approach

Final year students on an undergraduate Sports Science degree programme provided optional peer tutored practical sessions, once per week (two hours per session) for 12 weeks, for second year students on the same undergraduate programme. Students were then assessed on their ability to demonstrate, coach and explain a range of dynamic resistance exercises.

Findings

A one way analysis of variance with Bonferroni post hoc analysis demonstrated a significantly greater academic achievement in the peer tutoring group (73.64±10.26 per cent) compared to students that were not peer tutored (46.20±20.27, p=0.003) and compared to the previous years’ cohort that were not peer tutored (56.83±19.18, p<0.001). Moreover, tutors also demonstrated significantly (p<0.001) higher grades (82.00±11.01 per cent) compared to the students that did not act as peer tutors (64.88±8.82 per cent).

Practical implications

This study demonstrates that peer tutoring during practical sessions in Sports Science programmes can enhance the development of practical skills and achievement of both tutees and tutors during practical assessments.

Originality/value

To the authors knowledge this is the first study to determine the effects of peer tutoring on both the tutors and tutees, in a Sports Science setting.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the students for consenting for the use of this data within this manuscript.

Citation

Comfort, P. and James McMahon, J. (2014), "The effect of peer tutoring on academic achievement", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 168-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-06-2012-0017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited