CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited
Books. Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning From and With Each Other
Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning From and With Each Other
Edited by David Boud, Ruth Cohen and Jane SampsonKogan Page2001£19.99,ISBN 0749436123
We learn continually from each other in everyday life. Whatever the situation, most of us draw on the knowledge, skills and experience of our friends and colleagues. Within education, learners naturally learn from each other in order to make sense of their course, test their ideas and share their concerns. Not only can students provide each other with useful information, but sharing the experience of learning also makes it less burdensome and more enjoyable.
Boud et al. explore how educators can formalize the use of this powerful approach to learning. The book shows how to understand, encourage and make explicit reciprocal peer learning, investigates how peer learning can be integrated into the design and delivery of higher-education courses and looks at what role it can play in encouraging more effective learning.
The book's contributors focus mainly on the use of peer learning in undergraduate and postgraduate classes, but many of the ideas can be applied more widely. Part 1 addresses the key features of peer learning, and examines how peer learning activities can be designed and incorporated into courses, what common approaches are used in higher-education courses, how peer-learning activities can be managed effectively and what key issues are involved in peer learning and assessment. These chapters are written by the editors and draw extensively on their experience in using peer learning in courses, mainly with adult-education students.
Part 2 contains contributions from authors in the areas of design, management, law, information technology and engineering. Their case studies illustrate the different cultures of higher-education disciplines and each picks up a particular theme, from group-based working to the use of peer learning through electronic-mediated communication.
The closing commentary points to how peer learning is an integral part of a high-quality learning environment. It locates peer learning as a vital element of course design in an era in which the use of teaching staff will be limited. The editors concede that peer learning will grow whether or not books like this foster it. They highlight, however, the irony that a practice celebrated in stories of students in elite institutions as a way of coping with the expectations of academics there is finding itself as a key strategy in enabling the mainstream of institutions to cope with circumstances beyond their control.