The Power of Peeragogy

Retrieved June 19, 2013 from here
I have just completed one of the most well-organized online courses on Coursera “Statistics: Making Sense of Data” that was offered by University of Toronto, and instructed by Alison Gibbs, & Jeffrey Rosentha. It was about statistics and how to make use of this field in our lives. As any course I took on Coursera, we watched video lectures, took quizzes, completed, and reviewed assignments following model answers prepared by the instructors. What makes this course different from other learning experiences is its well-designed format, clear objectives, and high quality content. In addition, the To-Do-List provided on the top of the sidebar helped us a lot to know more about each week’s tasks and assignments, and it saved our time and efforts. In contrast, I dropped another Coursera course running at the same time “Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence” because I didn’t know what tasks and readings I should do in each week although the instructor was very creative and had a powerful impact on people. 

Retrieved June 20, 2013 from here

Returning to our Statistics course, I just watched the videos and took the quizzes many times at first. When we came to week four, we were asked to complete an assignment using all what we learned so far. Really, it was so challenging, and I didn’t know how to start it. I read the questions, and watched the videos many times, but there was something missing. Then, I went to the discussion forums and there I found my answer. The first word came to my mind was the term “Peeragogy“. This term is all about peers learning together and helping each other to learn. The idea is that each person contributes to the group in their own way (see more about this term here). To complete my assignment, I just observed and watched the discussions among my peers. I didn’t contribute effectively because they simply asked and answered all the questions in my mind. This is the power of peer learning where learners work together and construct new knowledge. 

Another great feature I saw in this course was the way to evaluate assignments. There were two types of assessments: analytical and holistic. First, learners analyzed their peers’ work according to the rubric or the model answer provided, then gave an impression score (0, 1, 2). By this way, one can receive a detailed feedback about his or her assignment as well as a holistic score about the whole work and if he or she made a great effort to answer each of the questions. Taking many online courses through the two past years, I admit that the peer assessment happened in that course was so successful because most of the learners were somewhat specialized in the field. This was so clear in their documented answers to the assignments and the constructive feedback they gave to their peers. Really, I enjoyed it so much despite of its challenging tasks. I would like to thank everyone of my peers to make that amazing learning experience happen.

 Here are some resources about Peeragogy:

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