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Information, digital and academic literacy skills are more important than ever as the nature of global information streams becomes more complex and increasingly online. New methods are needed to ensure that students are taught to identify, use and critically evaluate this complex information myriad during their education and in their future careers. Peer assisted learning is one method that has been shown to help, and previous research in the field of peer support has indicated that the interaction between students at different levels enhances a first-year student’s successful transition into higher education (HE).
In 2016, a peer support scheme was introduced at the Technological University Dublin (ITT Dublin) as collaboration between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the library. Initial evaluation of the programme showed that some students respond positively to the inclusion of peer support within an academic module. We also found that peer tutors have a critical role in the support of a first-year student’s learning and their transition into higher education. They act as role models and guides and can help students form the essential linkages between the different resources they will need to be successful in higher education and beyond. An attractive social strand to the programme can act as a critical motivator for students. Further research is needed to identify the essential elements required.
Ryder, G. et al. 2017. Embedding peer support as a core learning skill in higher education. Journal of Information Literacy, 11(1), pp.184-203. doi:10.11645/11.1.2207