What is Peer-to-Peer Tutoring?

By Benjamin Stoddard
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Peer-to-Peer Tutoring is a method of instruction that involves students teaching other students, and you might ask: what’s the advantage to that? The answer to that question is fairly easy to explain. Students learn more and demonstrate mastery when they are able to comprehensively teach a subject. Vice versa, when a student is struggling, having someone who is on the same age level as them helps to create bridges in the learning gaps. A peer tutor can form examples and relate to a student on an entirely different level than an adult educator.

The benefits don’t end there, either. A struggling student can benefit greatly from having to prepare and teach the topic that they are studying to a tutor from the same age group as them. The formal lines that exist between a teacher and a student aren’t as defined with someone who is the same age as the person learning, and are therefore easier to cross and find common ground with that said student. The most important aspect of Peer-to-Peer Tutoring is a ready monitor to ensure that the correct information is being taught, which is where many study guide service sites enter the scene.

Many sites, such as Cramster.comCliffnotes.com and SparkNotes have a strict monitoring system in place to ensure that your student is not being led astray by some well meaning but misguided peer. Cramster’s system involves a careful system of reviews and checks before anything that is submitted by a peer tutor ever sees the front page of their website.

Cramster.com utilizes a points system that rewards students who submit information to be published, if the information or instruction is agreeable to the site, they will publish it for others to see and reward a certain amount of points to the author or peer tutor. These points can then be saved up in order to purchase gadgets such as an iPod Touch, or even a laptop if the student is diligent enough. These incentives offer additional motivation for a student to gain a firm understanding of a topic, and then solidify that understanding by making that knowledge more accessible to other students, cementing the information in their own minds in the process.

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Like any other tool, Peer-to-Peer Tutoring works when used properly. As with any study guide service site, it will require some monitoring and involvement of others such as parents or teachers to verify or ensure that a student understands the material that he or she is studying. In an ideal situation, Peer-to-Peer Tutoring is the golden standard for study guides to utilize in all aspects of their discipline.

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