James E. Groccia

  • Student-assisted teaching and learning: models, strategies & outcomes

    James E. Groccia, EdD, University of Missouri-Columbia
    Judith E. Miller, PhD, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Research Paper

    Theme Addressed: Learning and Teaching Methods

    Throughout the world, higher education is being held more accountable for both quality and productivity. Institutions are being challenged to develop alternatives to traditional teacher-centered instructional approaches, in which it is the teachers job to profess and the students job to learn. Integrating undergraduate students into teaching processes is one way to make learning more student-centered, resulting in improvements in quality and productivity. Based upon educational research that supports student involvement in learning and upon an increased focus on cost effectiveness, many higher education institutions have started involving undergraduates in the delivery of instruction to their peers.

    We will present a summary of 30 examples gathered from universities in the U.S.A., Canada and Australia of the use of undergraduate students as peer tutors, mentors, TAs, group facilitators, faculty partners. In addition, we will highlight a few cases and will briefly describe implementation strategies as well as the empirical evidence for the models' impact upon teaching and learning outcomes and educational productivity. Each case study follows the following format:

    • Model (rationale, basic components, administrative setup, student roles and functions, student selection and training, types of students and classes taught, faculty roles)
    • Application/Implementation Details
    • Research Outcomes and Productivity
    • Suggestions for Replication

    A special focus will be on a summary of research results to support an empirical approach to educational reform. In addition, we will stimulate discussion on the reliability and validity of the various assessment approaches used to measure each models impact on teaching, learning and educational productivity. These individual successes need to be communicated to the higher education community and practical guidelines developed to help higher education personnel use undergraduate students to improve teaching and learning. This presentation will provide such a resource for faculty, administrators, and instructional developers, and will make possible the wider replication of successful models.