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ERIC Number: EJ958723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Cyber Peer-Led Team Learning (cPLTL): Development and Implementation
Mauser, Kevin; Sours, John; Banks, Julianna; Newbrough, Randy; Janke, Tom; Shuck, Lorie; Zhu, Lin; Ammerman, Gina; Varma-Nelson, Pratibha
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v34 n4 2011
The type and amount of student interaction with major socializing agents on campus--faculty and their peers--determine the impact of college on students. Much of the research on postsecondary education links the quality of peer interactions directly to student learning outcomes and satisfaction with the college experience, and Alexander Astin went so far as to suggest that "peers are "the single most potent source of influence," affecting virtually every aspect of development--cognitive, affective, psychological, and behavioral." This concept underlies the high-impact pedagogy of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL). For commuter campuses like Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), classrooms are often the only regular settings in which students interact with faculty and peers. Creating environments for increased faculty and peer interaction should be prioritized when creating academic programs. This is especially true in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, where pedagogical practices have been identified as primary barriers to persistence. PLTL preserves the lecture while replacing the teaching assistant-led recitation with a weekly two-hour session. During these workshops, six to eight students work as a team to solve carefully structured problems under the guidance of a peer leader--a student who has recently completed the course and additional training for the role. While over 20,000 students experience the benefits of PLTL annually at more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities, many others do not have the opportunity to participate in peer-led workshops because of inflexible work or family schedules or because their institutions lack the physical space to provide workshops on their campus. Also, peer leaders are not always available, especially at two-year institutions. It is increasingly clear that to provide PLTL to the broader undergraduate population in STEM fields, efforts need to focus on creating a variety of effective cyber-learning environments. The development of cyber PLTL (cPLTL) has the potential to diminish barriers to access and increase the success of students in the STEM fields. Extending PLTL to a virtual environment has the potential to provide active learning opportunities to a wider, more diverse student population while giving them more flexible scheduling and attendance options. This article reports a pilot study conducted at IUPUI, which serves approximately 1,000 first-year general chemistry students annually. The article explains how cPLTL has developed the necessary human and physical components, along with the costs associated with implementation and preliminary findings from the pilot study. (Contains 3 figures, 2 tables and 15 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States