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Page updated 21.4.2021

Stronger through peer instruction – inclusive peer instructions supporting students’ online instruction and well-being 2021–2022

Project studies require that students adopt an active role, take responsibility, they are self-directed and possess self-management and group work skills. In terms of success, the central pedagogic element in the learning process is peer instruction. Peer instruction plays an essential part in both reaching the learning targets and in increasing an inclusive, safe and meaningful learning experience, attachment to the studies and a sense of community. 

The current methods of peer instruction have been developed for contact teaching purposes and in higher education institutions’ means analyses, the swift transfer to online teaching and instruction has highlighted the need for new methods of peer instruction. At the same time, the requirement level of students’ self-directedness and self-management has increased and the attachment to the studies and the experiences on a sense of community and inclusion have deteriorated. Working online also requires strong steering from the student group. All this requires that peer instructors have new and versatile skills and knowledge for the instruction of individuals, groups and themselves. In the Vertaisohjauksesta voimaa! project we try to meet the observed needs by mapping good practices in online instruction and among them, select versatile and appropriate methods for testing and analysis in authentic learning and instruction situations.

The results aimed at in the project:

  1. Students improve their abilities to self-direct and self-manage and higher education study skills in project-oriented online learning environments.
  2. Peer instructors’ better online instruction skills to support peer students’ studies and progress in their studies.
  3. Combining good, tried and tested national and local instruction concepts with peer instruction in project and online learning contexts.
  4. Concrete, inclusive student-oriented methods to increase peer support and a sense of community and to reduce loneliness at the individual, group and instructor level.
  5. Evaluation studies on reaching the project goals and the usability of the developed methods, the development of students’ skills and abilities and challenges and opportunities of online peer instruction.
  6. Promoting and diversifying the interaction and sense of community of higher education staff, Study Counselling Psychologists and students.

The project’s cooperation partners include student representatives, (online) instruction and student well-being representatives, companies and developer networks. The Study Counselling Psychologists and Student Union TUO will utilize their interest groups in terms of instruction, well-being and associations specific to a field of study.