This is a method that is used to maximize students learning opportunities. This is by maximizing the student opportunities in receiving individual practice and instructions. It involves the recruitment of peers trained and under the supervision of their teachers to offer instructions and responses to each other. In peer tutoring, the tutor and the tutee are people in a similar status for example students of the same learning grade. Peer tutoring is less intimidating when compared to classroom teaching by the teacher. Further, in peer tutoring a stronger relationship is easier to establish and maintain than one which would exist in teacher to student.
In peer tutoring, assistance is offered from student to student in courses that present problems to them. For peer tutoring to be effective and to ensure that the parties involved benefit, it is important to put some things into consideration. For instance, the peer tutor has to be someone who is well trained to offer tuition. Training can be done through workshops held in the school. These are important in enhancing the communication skills of the tutor and thus making it possible for them to deliver well to the tutee. Students will tend to understand more when taught by their peers. Therefore, the tutor should have good delivery skills to enhance the understanding of the tutee. Good communication will also enable the tutee view the problematic course as simple and this positive attitude will assist in their improvement.
The teacher should also supervise the process of tutoring to ensure that the parties are benefiting. Environment of learning has great effects on the process of learning. Therefore, the environment for peer tutoring should be a neutral one and one where there are no external distractions (Falchikov & Blythman, 2001). This makes the parties to be free to present their ideas and also ask questions. Peer tutoring is not like the teacher-student relationship but rather learning through dialogue. Therefore, the tutor and tutee should establish a good relationship. This relationship is what determines the productivity of the peer tutoring.
Openness is very important in peer tutoring. This is because the tutor is able to understand areas where the tutee faces problems. Further, the tutor should be open when carrying out information exploration. They should take the process from the perspective of being a discussion but not a lecture. The tutor should also view the tutee as someone who can offer them some help but not as a looser. The approach that the tutor uses will greatly determine the effectiveness of the process. With such open mindedness, a friendly learning environment will thrive and thus making the peer tutoring process beneficial.
When forming groups for peer tutoring, it is important to make some considerations too. For instance, students who are best friends should not be placed in the same peer tutoring group. In such cases, there are high chances that minimal learning will take place. The relationship that is established in peer tutoring is only a good learning relationship. There are those students who have been best friends and shared almost all their time together. These are the ones who are not supposed to be in a peer tutoring group. Also, where relatives are involved, minimal learning may take place.
Feedback is very essential in peer tutoring. The tutor should take the responsibility of giving feedback. However, they should not act as the teacher and give the tutee exams since this may demoralize them. According to Falchikov & Blythman (2001) for effective and peer tutoring to give good outcome, the teacher should review their performance. When the sessions are conducted with the knowledge that performance review will be conducted, seriousness in study is bound to set in.
Falchikov, N. & Blythman, M. (2001). Learning together: peer tutoring in higher education. USA: Routledge publishers.