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With a Little Help from my Friends: the role of peer groups in a physics engineering programme
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8426-2275
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper reports on the importance of informal study groups for the academic achievement and social and emotional wellbeing of physics engineering students at one university in Sweden. It is based on interviews with 26 physics engineering students in different phases of their education and 9 staff members - teachers and study advisors. While the programme structure and pedagogy assumes individual study, many students in fact cope with the demanding programme by using peer learning and peer support in informal contexts. The peer groups seem to be particularly appreciated by students with academic achievements in the middle range, but many groups include students at different achievement levels. The groups enhance students' academic work by different methods of peer learning, they provide (self)discipline at the same time as they help to maintain a study-life balance. They also increase motivation in different ways. The groups are formed more or less ad hoc, without initiatives from the staff, but they are strongly recommended to new students by senior students. Even if there is, in the physics engineering program, a large number of students who prefer individual study, the informal study groups are an important feature in a program, which officially builds on individual achievement, and have a major impact on the achievement and retention of a notable proportion of the student body.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Peer learning, peer support, study techniques
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-333543DiVA, id: diva2:1156916
Conference
ESERA 2017 conference. Dublin 21-25/8 2017
Projects
Staging the Successful Student in Higher Education. Swedish Rsearch Council, 2014-2476
Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2017-11-15Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(144 kB)11 downloads
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Salminen-Karlsson, Minna
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf