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Pilot project for peer tutoring: a case study in a Portuguese university

Cristina Sofia Coelho (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)
Catarina Pereira Faria (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)
Filipa Oliveira (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)
Carla Vale Lucas (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)
Sónia Vasconcelos (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)
Luísa Soares (Psychological Counselling Unit, Madeira University, Funchal, Portugal)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 2 September 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

Tutoring or mentoring is a form of mutual and informal learning which has distant origins. This is a way of sharing knowledge and experience which has been proved to be extremely useful in educational settings, particularly where there is a peer that plays the role of tutor. Despite its informal characteristic, tutoring should be a structured process, with defined goals and clear roles for both: tutors and tutees, those who benefit from tutoring. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

As this paper aims to explore a pilot project, it was used as a reflexive and practical methodology, in a case study, analyzing the number of participants attending the project as well as the contents of the training course.

Findings

In this first project in a Portuguese university, 35 students attended as candidates to tutor, participating in the training course, showing interest in helping their colleagues.

Originality/value

This proposal for a tutoring program in a public higher institution aims to train college students to help other colleagues, giving academic support, helping in the adaptation to academic context, promoting autonomy in learning, sharing effective strategies and helping in maintenance of positive interpersonal relationships. These aspects are very important to promote academic success in higher education.

Keywords

Citation

Sofia Coelho, C., Pereira Faria, C., Oliveira, F., Vale Lucas, C., Vasconcelos, S. and Soares, L. (2014), "Pilot project for peer tutoring: a case study in a Portuguese university", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 314-324. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-09-2013-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited