Mentoring and Peer Learning

I started my career working in mentoring and peer learning. I still read in this area but don’t conduct much new research or supervise students in this space any more.

Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction (SI aka Peer Assisted Study Sessions – PASS; PAL etc)

On the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions Literature Between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research, 2014. Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J. & Cowley, K.

Supplemental instruction (SI)—variously known as peer-assisted learning, peer-assisted study sessions, and other names—is a type of academic support intervention popular in higher education. In SI sessions, a senior student facilitates peer learning between undergraduates studying a high-risk course. This article presents a systematic review of the literature between 2001 and 2010 regarding the effectiveness of SI. Twenty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Due to methodological heterogeneity and lack of consistency defining the SI treatment, qualitative synthesis methods were applied. For seven included studies, however, an effect size of SI participation on final grades was calculated, ranging from d = 0.29 to d = 0.60. The findings of the review are consistent with claims validated by the U.S. Department of Education in the 1990s that participation in SI is correlated with higher mean grades, lower failure and withdrawal rates, and higher retention and graduation rates.


Defining, designing and specifying mentoring models

Beyond a Definition: Toward a Framework for Designing and Specifying Mentoring Models. Educational Researcher 2014. Dawson, P

More than three decades of mentoring research has yet to converge on a unifying definition of mentoring; this is unsurprising given the diversity of relationships classified as mentoring. This article advances beyond a definition toward a common framework for specifying mentoring models. Sixteen design elements were identified from the literature and tested through specification of two different mentoring models from higher education contexts. This framework provides researchers and practitioners with a detailed yet concise method of communicating exactly what they mean when using the word mentoring; it may also act as a useful set of prompts for educators designing new mentoring interventions.

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