Peer + peer = increased learning

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Science  01 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6268, pp. 38-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6268.38-e

In math education, the definition of “cooperative learning” is greater than the sum of these two words. Reinholz describes peer-assisted reflection (PAR) in an introductory calculus class, where students work together to attempt to solve a problem, reflect on their work, conference with a peer, and revise and submit a final solution. PAR emphasizes problem-solving processes, including explanation and justification, similar to an inquiry-based science class. The PAR model stresses peer interaction, with students analyzing their peers' work in order to develop analytic skills that they can then apply to their own learning. Student success through PAR was significant and comparable to similar active learning interventions in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses. Most importantly, PAR resulted in students being less likely to drop introductory calculus.

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