Blended Learning: Peer-Peer Social Learning
One of the projects I work on as a Research Assistant with Digital Youth Network studies the benefits of blended learning, or learning that takes place in both face-to-face and online environments. The following is my presentation that shows how student-to-student interaction supports a major benefit of blended learning, social learning. To learn more about blended learning, see "Developing frameworks, tools, and social practices to support effective instructor use of online social learning networks in blended learning models" under Research Projects.
How can peer-to-peer interactions help to create meaningful social learning?
- Field notes
- Online ethnographies of iRemix, an online social learning network
- Deductive coding of qualitative data (field notes, online ethnographies, student interviews, and teacher workshops)
- Student-student interaction summary memo
Social learning takes place in blending-learning environments in many ways, but this presentation focuses on the aspects of student-student interaction. The qualitative data gathered thus far shows that social learning has and can occur through utilization of friendships, peers as resources and collaboration. This presentation further explains these areas:
- Friendships - how in person, existing friendships drive students’ online behaviors as well as how friendships can be formed online
- Collaboration - students’ thoughts on the benefit of the collaborating and how it can be utilized online
- Peers as resources - how students use comments and reactions as positive feedback and how students use their peers’ work as examples or inspiration
The data used for this presentation comes from coded observations, interviews, and workshops gathered for cyberlearning project between November 2013 and May 2015.
INTR S-S is the code used for student-student interactions, which indicated any instance of student-student relationship or interactions.
SOCLRN is the code for social learning, or any evidence or description of youth learning with each other, including sharing/presenting work with others, exploring what others are doing, communicating around work, critiquing the work of others.
Social learning from friendships
Face-to-face friendships drive online behaviors
SOCIAL learning - why is it important?
- Kids are naturally doing the social learning based on their previous experience with networks.
- Social learning is a 21st century skill that blended learning offers.
Viewing work of friends
More inclined to seek out their friends’ work because they’re asking each other to view their work in person.
Students join groups because they were asked to by friends. However many said that they didn’t do anything within the group after they joined.
Using iRemix like other social media platforms (seamless transition)
- Students are already connected with their friends on other platforms.
- One student showed an interest in using iRemix like other platforms.
- Some students are unable to do social media at home either because they have limited access to devices or because their parents don't allow them to participate. Social media activity among middle school students range greatly.
SOCIAL LEARNING FROM FRIENDSHIPs
Making and strengthening online friendships
Students also enjoy being able to share their work with their peers. Although may be doing it to show friends, they are showing it to everyone.
Connecting with peers through shared interests
A few students interviewed indicated that iRemix allowed them to connect with their classmates and get to know them better.
How iRemix helps shy students
When students understand that iRemix is a safe place, then it allows them to be more opinion minded and secure with posting their work, especially as an alternative to presenting in class:
“Having a safe place where to put your opinions first and seeing how people react or whatever, it can lead to you knowing what to do in a more social place.”
“I'm a very nervous person...It's just like as soon as you go up there you wanna get it over with. But like the video, you just let it play, you just sit in the back...it's better.”
Instructors also feel that iRemix is good for kids who are nervous about public speaking. But also for them to get to know their students.
Social learning from peers as resources
iRemix comments support positive interactions
- Positive exchanges between peers
- Students believe comments serve to give compliments and constructive criticism
iRemix comments to let others know they saw the work
Social learning from collaboration
CURRENTLY: iRemix is a platform to display results of in person, face-to-face collaboration.
IDEA FOR SUPPORTING SOCIAL LEARNING: Online only projects. Build on the positive aspects of working together while preparing students with online-collaboration skills.
SOCIAL LEARNING HAS and CAN occur through:
CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full presentation (it's not too different from above)